FIU examines new technological solution
November 16, 2007
FIU examines new technological solution

This country’s Attorney General believes that a better coordinated, regional effort is needed in the fight against money laundering.{{more}}

Speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop hosted by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) earlier this week, Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan said that investigating money laundering and terrorism can be difficult; demanding specialization and intensive law enforcement activity; requiring a wide range of multi disciplinary expertise.

The workshop was held at the Sunset Shores Hotel, on November 13th and 14th, under the theme “Money Laundering and Terrorism: Exploring Technological Solution”, and was attended by many law enforcement and financial sector officials.

It featured presentations by many experts in the field of anti money laundering, terrorism, intelligence gathering, among other areas.

The workshop was coordinated by Avi Shachar of Sprylogics International Incorporated of Canada.

Sprylogics International Inc. develops intelligence based analytical solutions and content for enhanced risk analysis and investigative research in the regulatory, law enforcement, government, financial services, investment and private sectors.

It was founded in 2004 by recognized experts in the intelligence, fraud detection, counter-terrorism, anti-money-laundering and analytical software fields.

Shachar, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Intelligence department, said that it is important that in the battle against money laundering and terrorism, the emphasis is in the prevention of such crimes.

“We have to be smart, we have to try and prevent things before they happen, in order to justify the resources that we have and our mandate,” Shachar said.

During her brief address, the Attorney General noted that small countries like St Vincent and the Grenadines and others in the region could find that it is very difficult to find present in the country, all the investigative skills needed to be successful in this regard.

“It is evident that in small jurisdictions it is unlikely that a full range of investigatory skills will be present, it may therefore be useful to consider putting together investigative teams on a regional or sub regional basis,” Morgan said.

She also praised the efforts of the local FIU, noting that it has been doing a great job of fighting money laundering here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, since the passage of the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering Prevention Act in 2001.

Since February 2006, the FIU has seen the successful prosecution of four money laundering offences, and seen the successful confiscation of three properties; added to the successful forfeiture of cash orders.

This according to her is “no small accomplishment.”

“These cases involve very complex and often technical matters and are both difficult and time consuming to investigate, and require sensitive handling by prosecutors,” the Attorney General noted.

Meanwhile, head of the FIU Sharda Bollers said that the collaboration between Sprylogics and the local FIU is a welcome one.

She also noted the importance of working together in the fight against crime.

“What happens in the fight against crime is that the world becomes a very small place, when we come together,’ she said.