Georgian law enforcement agencies exposed to the best practices for the efficient investigation and prosecution of terrorist financing

20-21 January 2022
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Georgian law enforcement agencies exposed to the best practices for the efficient investigation and prosecution of terrorist financing

This two-day training on “Investigation and Prosecution of Terrorist Financing Cases” was organised by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the State Security Service of Georgia. The activity, delivered in “hybrid” format with the online contribution of international Council of Europe experts, welcomed members of the State Security Service (Counterterrorism Centre), as well as of Office of the Prosecutor General, and of the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance.  

Aimed at presenting, sharing, and discussing the main challenges in tracing assets and prosecuting terrorist financing in Georgia and internationally, the training highlighted also the importance of conducting risk assessments at sectorial and national level in order to prioritise the preventive and enforcement measures.

During the meeting, participants built a shared understanding of the role of financial investigation in counter-terrorism operations, and the techniques to assess suspicious transactions related to terrorist financing. The core of the meeting was devoted to sharing best practices in the detection and investigation of terrorist financing cases through analytical and investigative techniques.

In discussing the applicable regulatory framework, Georgian investigators and prosecutors looked into the United Nations Security Council Sanctions regime, and the mechanisms for the implementation of the relevant resolutions by proper listing and delisting processes in Georgia.

Looking at their own national practices, participants discussed the benefits and the how-to of efficient inter-institutional cooperation, particularly between the Financial Intelligence Unit and the national agencies, as well as with private entities through public-private partnerships.

Terrorist financing risks related to virtual assets and new technologies -a new challenge in Georgia as elsewhere- was also part of the exchanges during the training. Guided by the Council of Europe expert practitioners, participants analysed specific approaches to trace digital assets in financial investigation, as well as possible means for its effective seizure and confiscation. As for all other topics of the training, these issues were illustrated with relevant cases studies.

This capacity building activity enhanced the professional skills of the Georgian law enforcement agencies to conduct investigation and prosecution of terrorist financing cases effectively mitigating the terrorist financing risks. Strong cooperation amongst public authorities and with the private sector was outlined as an important factor in responding to terrorist financing risks.

This event is a part of series of activities designed to support national authorities to improve operational capacities and frameworks for the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of corruption, money laundering/financing of terrorism (ML/FT) and other economic crime cases.

The activity was organised in the framework of the project “Enhancing the systems of prevention and combating corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing in Georgia”, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance II.