May 7, 2013

SVG-FIU, Taiwan strengthen relations in combating money laundering

Tue May 7, 2013

Members of staff of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) recently travelled to Taiwan for an exchange programme with the Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Justice (MJIB) on Anti-Money Laundering. The sessions were organized by the Anti-Money Laundering Division (AMLD).{{more}}

The MJIB is a criminal-investigation and counter-intelligence agency with the responsibility for protecting national security and ensuring the welfare of the people. The MJIB carries out countermeasures against serious criminal acts including corruption, election fraud, economic crimes, money laundering, terrorism, drug trafficking, cyber crime, among others. To address effectively the threats of cross border crimes, the MJIB, through their International Cooperation Office, seeks to build stronger relationships with counterparts in other countries. The MJIB also relies on well-developed technological and scientific capabilities to assist in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes, which is evident by the use of systematic tools such as DNA and Mass spectrometry.

A number of knowledgeable, skilled and competent facilitators were drawn from the MJIB and AMLD, which include analysts, auditors, compliance personnel, District Prosecutor, Senior Auditor from the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and Legal Compliance Officer from the banking sector. The objectives of the course were to provide participants with knowledge of the Legal and Practical Framework utilized within the Republic of China (Taiwan) to combat the crimes of money laundering, terrorist financing and other serious crimes.
The forum allowed for improved relations and sharing of best practices, which can be adopted by both FIUs. A wide range of topics were discussed, namely Anti- Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML &CFT) laws and mechanisms, reporting, analysis and dissemination of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) E-reporting systems, Financial Supervision and Examination for Financial Institutions (FIs), Reporting Procedures for Cross Border Transportation of Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments, Mechanisms of seizure and Confiscation.

The Taiwanese Government continues to demonstrate its long history of cooperation, which is evident in the efforts promulgated by the Embassy to enhance strengthened relations with FIU, MJIB and AMLD. The FIU welcomed the learning experience afforded to its members only on April 13th – 19th, 2013. The training was insightful, practical and relevant to the work of the FIU. The level of discipline, professionalism and pride shown by the MJIB and AMLD staff is certainly worthy of commendation and emulation at the FIU and wider society in general. Staff of the FIU also had the opportunity to experience Taiwan’s rich culture and learn of its history during their stint. The experience was dubbed by all as “extraordinary”.

The FIU wishes to express its gratitude to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and in particular the MJIB and AMLD for the capacity building opportunity. It was indeed a valuable experience for all parties, which fosters the strengthening of relationships and enhanced cooperation in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and transnational organized crime.

The FIU recommends that this exchange program be adopted by FIU/White Collar Crime Unit of St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and other FIUs among the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) members. We also advocate for: further missions to Taiwan; invite our colleagues from Taiwan to visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to assist with capacity development and enhanced cooperation, especially in the area of information technology.

The FIU pledges to work arduously in ensuring that its competencies are developed and it is kept abreast of current trends utilized by nefarious criminals and the methods that can be adopted in combating same. We were also inspired to continue striving to be a centre of excellence and a world class institution.