Representatives of the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of the beneficiary countries participated in the international workshop on “Comparative Solutions and Good Practices for Financial Intelligence Units on Strategic and Operational Analysis” organised by the Economic Crime and Cooperation Division of the Council of Europe on 20-22 September to support the participating FIUs in the application of innovative tools and procedures.
The discussions outlined the shared understanding that strategic analysis is paramount for FIUs to detect emerging money laundering and terrorist financing threats and vulnerabilities; as well as to identify trends and patterns to guide the development of successful policies to mitigate related risks.
Operational analysis by FIUs, on the other hand, is instrumental in following the money trail and in determining links between the targets of analysis and possible proceeds of crime; providing reliable intelligence for prosecuting money laundering, related predicate offences or terrorist financing.
During the workshop, over 70 participants from more than 20 countries discussed the challenges and opportunities for enhancing the strategic and operational analysis of FIUs, the reasons to do so, and how to do it.
An emphasis was put on the multifaceted nature of strategic and operational analysis, which includes the setup of relevant structures and procedures; the appropriate use of available data; the prioritisation of analysis; the use of IT tools, as well as inter-agency but also international cooperation and partnerships, and collaboration with the private sector.
At the core of the presentations and discussions was the importance for strategic and operational analysis to render outputs and reports that could be shared and be actionable for law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and the relevant anti-money laundering stakeholders. Training participants also discussed the challenges posed by Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service providers for the FIUs in terms of collecting and analysing data.
The workshop contributed to sharing experiences and discussing different approaches and practices which could bring a qualitative transformation for FIUs operations.
Workshop participants included public officials of Financial Intelligence Units from EU member States; Eastern Partnership, and Central Asian countries; Israel; British Crown Dependencies; and Gibraltar. Representatives from the EU Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) and MONEYVAL, also joined the discussions.
The workshop was convened by the Partnership for Good Governance Project “Strengthening Measures to prevent and combat economic crime” together with the Technical Support Instrument “Enhancing the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering framework in Slovak Republic”, “Strengthening the Estonian anti-money laundering framework”, all of which are joint endeavours of the EU and the Council of Europe.