E.g., 12/05/2022
E.g., 12/05/2022
12/02/2022

FATF - Paris, 30 November 2022

Organised crime groups are fuelling a synthetic opioid crisis that has contributed to hundreds of thousands of drug overdose deaths in the past decade.

In North America, the non-medical use of fentanyl is the main driver behind a record number of overdoses and opioid-related deaths. In parts of Africa, a tramadol epidemic is having a significant impact on public health. While across Asia, many countries report a growing number of cases.

This report looks at the way proceeds are laundered from synthetic opioids trafficking. Organised crime groups use a range of methods including bulk cash smuggling, cash couriers, trade-based money laundering and virtual assets (crypto), as well as shell companies and the services of professional money launderers. 

Even though a majority of countries identify drug trafficking as a major predicate offence for money laundering, the number of investigations and prosecutions concerning the laundering of proceeds from synthetic opioids trafficking remains low. This report aims to raise awareness about the opioid trade, including the use of precursor chemicals, and the related global financial flows.  It also makes recommendations on the best approaches to detect and disrupt the criminal networks involved. These include:

-Improving risk understanding in this area, including regarding supply chains and the role of the pharmaceutical industry, to develop more robust legal and regulatory frameworks to combat the trade in illicit opioids.

-Training prosecutors and relevant authorities to carry out financial investigations, including in the precursor supply chain.

-Identifying and leveraging existing mechanisms to expand international cooperation between source, transit and destination countries to identify and disrupt synthetic opioid supply chains.

-Using public-private partnerships to raise risk awareness, of dark web marketplaces and virtual assets (crypto), share red flag information and help the private sector better identify and report suspicious activity.

The report includes relevant risk indicators that will help identify potential trafficking of illicit synthetic opioids.   

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/methodsandtrends/documents/money-laundering-fentanyl-synthetic-opioids.html

12/01/2022

‘We do not know what we do not know’: law enforcement should speed up in coping with the challenges posed by Web 3.0

SINGAPORE – Law enforcement agencies need to speed up in understanding new forms of crimes emerging from nascent technologies. For example, decentralized metaverses with new ways of communicating and accessing data that law enforcement may not be able to deal with. Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are increasingly permeating financial crimes such as money laundering schemes.

They are hosted on decentralized platforms such as blockchains which pose great challenges to law enforcement due to the potential ability to run without an accountable authority. Law enforcement should look into novel solutions such as open source tools for better data gathering. Moreover, legislation needs to adapt to these changes, which takes time.

The INTERPOL New Technologies Forum: Law Enforcement in Web 3.0, held from 15 to 17 November 2022 at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, highlighted the risk of law enforcement being outpaced by criminals. Organized in cooperation with the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, the Forum highlighted that closer collaboration between law enforcement agencies, industry, and academia can help speed up the process of understanding new technologies and their impacts for crime. Through the New Technologies Forum, INTERPOL supports its 195 member countries in identifying and understanding the applied and practical use of the new technologies related to the evolution of the web into Web 3.0.

In his keynote address, Raja Kumar, President of the Financial Action Task Force, emphasized the increasing adoption of privacy-enhancing techniques to decouple links between cryptocurrency transactions and real-world identity. To cope with speed of crypto transactions and how criminals abuse privacy-preserving methods to obscure their identities, Mr. Kumar recognized the importance of adopting a whole-of-society and international collaboration approach to provide a robust response at ecosystem level. How new challenges and criminal techniques emerge so quickly are further complicated by the lack of clarity in regulations and enforcement especially with cross-jurisdiction transactions and crimes.

Another keynote speaker, Patrick Ghion of the Regional Cyber Competence Centre, Geneva State Police, highlighted criminals’ use of new communication vectors. For example, encrypted means of communication, closed-door groups, the need to provide illegal material to enter groups, and secure email providers. Mr. Ghion also challenged participants about preparing now for the threats that perhaps do not yet look realistic but are actually in the horizon, such as problems brought about by space security and brain-computer interfaces.

Regarding space security, for example, the proliferation of satellites may lead to both opportunities and threats for law enforcement. For instance, law enforcement can use satellites for data gathering. However, hacks into satellite communication threaten public safety and security. Meanwhile, brain-computer interfaces will blur the boundaries between reality perception and inducted signals.

The Forum also facilitated various workshops and knowledge exchange sessions where challenges of decentralized marketplace were identified. For instance, lack of accountability, hurdles to evidence gathering, and non-aligned legal frameworks. Law enforcement agencies need to anticipate lower barriers to entry with Web 3.0, which means building decentralized marketplaces will become much more accessible and user adoption will be very rapid and widespread.

As emphasized by various speakers and participants, criminals move quickly, and thus law enforcement agencies should look into tools that would help them move faster. The Forum recognized the need to collaborate in ensuring that technological tools are exploited to crunch massive amounts of data in a scientific, empirical, and reproducible way when conducting investigations. Cross-sector collaboration is also key in providing adequate and top-notch specialized training, which was identified as one of the needs of law enforcement to cope with the speed of crimes evolving in Web 3.0.

https://www.interpol.int

11/30/2022

TEHRAN – Iran discussed and made agreement with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Russia to combat money laundering and terrorist financing on the sidelines of the 37th meeting of the Eurasian Group (EAG) on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, IRIB reported.

Iran and Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the sidelines of the mentioned event.

Based on the MOU, which was signed by Iran’s Deputy Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Hadi Khani, and the deputy prosecutor general and director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Uzbekistan, the parties agreed to develop working interactions and mobilize existing capacities in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Khani, who is the head of the Iranian economy ministry's Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), emphasized the development of bilateral and multilateral interactions and cooperation with friendly countries.

The MOU with Uzbekistan is the sixteenth memorandum of cooperation between Iran's FIC and the financial information unit of other countries.

Iran, Tajikistan discuss cooperation against money laundering

Also, on the sidelines of the Eurasian summit, Khani met with Tajikistan’s minister of finance.

In this meeting, the official emphasized increasing interactions between the two countries, especially in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Tajik minister for his part emphasized developing cooperation as much as possible and invited the Iranian economy minister to visit Tajikistan.

Tehran, Moscow to expand collaborations in battling money laundering

Khani has also met Yury Chikhanchin, vice president and director of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of Russia, on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the relative affairs.

In the meeting, the two sides emphasized the need to increase interactions with the aim of a more serious fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, especially the fight against the financing of drug traffickers.

The Russian side, which is the head of the Eurasian regional working group in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), appreciated Iran's actions in combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism and said that he would announce Iran's successes to FATF and will do the best of his ability to remove Iran from the black list.

Also, in this meeting, the two sides agreed to discuss the formation of an eastern coalition to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

https://www.tehrantimes.com

TEHRAN – Iran discussed and made agreement with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Russia to combat money laundering and terrorist financing on the sidelines of the 37th meeting of the Eurasian Group (EAG) on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, IRIB reported.

Iran and Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the sidelines of the mentioned event.

Based on the MOU, which was signed by Iran’s Deputy Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Hadi Khani, and the deputy prosecutor general and director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Uzbekistan, the parties agreed to develop working interactions and mobilize existing capacities in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Khani, who is the head of the Iranian economy ministry's Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), emphasized the development of bilateral and multilateral interactions and cooperation with friendly countries.

The MOU with Uzbekistan is the sixteenth memorandum of cooperation between Iran's FIC and the financial information unit of other countries.

Iran, Tajikistan discuss cooperation against money laundering

Also, on the sidelines of the Eurasian summit, Khani met with Tajikistan’s minister of finance.

In this meeting, the official emphasized increasing interactions between the two countries, especially in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Tajik minister for his part emphasized developing cooperation as much as possible and invited the Iranian economy minister to visit Tajikistan.

Tehran, Moscow to expand collaborations in battling money laundering

Khani has also met Yury Chikhanchin, vice president and director of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of Russia, on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the relative affairs.

In the meeting, the two sides emphasized the need to increase interactions with the aim of a more serious fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, especially the fight against the financing of drug traffickers.

The Russian side, which is the head of the Eurasian regional working group in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), appreciated Iran's actions in combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism and said that he would announce Iran's successes to FATF and will do the best of his ability to remove Iran from the black list.

Also, in this meeting, the two sides agreed to discuss the formation of an eastern coalition to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

https://www.tehrantimes.com

 

11/29/2022

24 -25 November 2022

The work of the MENAFATF’s 35th plenary, which was held over two days in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, was concluded on Friday, 25 November 2022, where it was opened with an opening statement by Her Excellency Mrs. Nadia Fattah, Minister of Economy and Finance in the Kingdom of Morocco, by His Excellency Dr. Jawhar Al-Nafisi, MENAFATF president, and chairman of the Moroccan FIU, and his Excellency Mr. Suliman Aljabrin MENAFATF excutive secertary.

The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dr. Jawhar Al-Nafisi, MENAFATF president, and chairman of the Moroccan FIU. The meeting witnessed the attendance of heads of delegations, AML/CFT/CPF experts from member countries, in addition to experts from observer countries and international organizations concerned with AML/CFT/CPF, led by FATF, UN, IMF and Egmont Group.

A number of working papers related to mutual evaluation were discussed, including the paper on the amended procedures for mutual evaluations and follow-up processes. in addition to topics related to the plans and development of the MENAFATF’s works, including the MENAFATF’s action plan for 2023, increasing the effectiveness of the MENAFATF, and areas of technical assistance and typologies such as the plan of training programs and webinars for 2023 and the typologies project on the abuse of NPOs and It also adopted the implementation of a new typologies project on ML/TF through legal persons and legal arrangements.

The priorities of the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for the group for the year 2023 were also approved, and the Republic of Yemen assumed the position of vice president of the group for the year 2023.

It is worth noting that the convened plenary meeting was precedented by a number of MENAFATF’s working groups meetings virtually during the period from 13 to 17 November 2022, which included the meeting of the MEWG, the meeting of the TATWG, the FIUs Forum, Risk Committee and OFTF. The following are the most important topics discussed in the meetings of working groups held on the sidelines of the plenary:

Mutual Evaluation and Follow-up processes:

Over the course of two days, the plenary discussed a number of topics related to mutual evaluation and follow-up processes. A number of working papers related to mutual evaluation were discussed and approved, including a paper on the amended procedures for mutual evaluation processes and follow-up, as well as a statistical paper on providing experts for mutual evaluation and follow-up processes. The timetable for the follow-up process for the first round and the timetable for the follow-up process for the second round were also approved, in addition to discussing other working papers related to the work group’s work.

Technical Assistance and Typologies:

On 16 November 2022, the TATWG discussed areas of technical assistance and typologies from workshops and training programs on topics related to the MENAFATF’s work areas, the plan of training programs and webinars for 2023 and other future projects in the areas of typologies. The working group also discussed a draft report of the typologies project on the abuse of NPOs in TF. A recommendation was submitted to the plenary for adoption. It also adopted the implementation of a new typologies project on ML/TF through legal persons and legal arrangements according to the recommendation submitted by the TATWG.

FIUs:

The plenary was briefed on the report of the Chairman of the FIUs Forum and the most important thing that took place in the 23rd meeting thereof. The plenary meeting welcomed the Executive Secretary of the Egmont Group for attending this meeting, where he affirmed his support for the non-member FIUs of the non-member countries of the Egmont Group and the most important steps taken for accession therein.

The executive secretary of Egmont Group also promised overcoming difficulties and facilitating the accession thereto and focusing the MENAFATF’s strategic plan on the Middle East and North Africa region with a special goal for the region to address all related issues and support the relationship with the MENAFATF and work closely therewith. Among the outcomes of the meeting was also a review of the experiences of a number of member countries in the forum and the exchange of experiences and best practices on “enhancing cooperation between FIUs and the nationally bodies entrusted with fighting corruption”. The first version of which was launched on the sidelines of the forum.

Risk Committee:

The 15th meeting of the Risk Committee was held on 13 November 2022, during which a presentation was made by the MENAFATF’s secretariat on the technical assistance and training program in the field of risks, and a panel with a number of experts in the region on the application of the risk-based approach with relation to new technologies. There were also participations of a number of presentations from member countries and international organizations that aim to share knowledge among the MENAFATF countries, and review the FATF guidance on the risk-based approach to real estate sector. The meeting was concluded with a recommendation to translate the guidance on the risk-based approach to the real estate sector, urging member countries to implement the requirements of the risk-based approach according to the requirements of Recommendation 15 and to follow up on emerging risks.

Operational Experts Forum on Terrorist Financing (OFTF)

The plenary meeting warmly welcomed the new OFTF president, Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al-Dhanhani, Attorney General at the State Security Prosecution in the United Arab Emirates and a member of the National AML/CFT Committee. The Executive Secretary extended his gratitude to the former president, Major General Jassim Mahmoud Al-Mahmoud from the State of Qatar, commending Qatar’s role in putting forward the initiative to establish this forum in continuation of its international contributions to combating terrorism and its financing.

Then the plenary listened to the report of the OFTF chairman and the most important discussion that took place in the 8th meeting for 2023-2024 and its action plan. Whereby presentations by the secretariat and a representative of the UNODC on topics related to risks, methods, trends, challenges and best practices in detecting and preventing terrorist financing operations were also discussed, in addition to the experiences exchanged during this meeting in the areas of parallel financial investigations in relation to TF from both the UNOCT and the United Arab Emirates and the risks of the relationship between organized crime and TF made by the secretariat.

https://www.menafatf.org

11/28/2022

Interior Ministers to intensify fight against cybercrime and environmental crime

WIESBADEN, Germany – The G7 Interior and Security Ministers meeting has ended with calls to intensify the fight against transnational serious and organized crime in close cooperation with INTERPOL.

The Ministers also reaffirmed their 2021 commitment to further develop INTERPOL’s tools and services, including ensuring all member countries have access to the tools they need, providing support and information where appropriate, and coordinating funding to avoid duplication.

An example of where global coordination is essential is combating online child abuse. INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database enables specialized investigators around the world to upload and compare child sexual abuse material to help identify victims and offenders and reveal overlapping investigations.

Victim identification

Currently 68 countries are connected to ICSE, and since its launch 13 years ago, the database has assisted in the identification of more than 31,000 victims and 14,000 offenders worldwide.

INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said the sheer number of victims makes international cooperation essential in combating online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

“Any connected child or vulnerable individual is a potential victim.

“The online abuse market, especially live streaming, is global and growing fast. This means there has never been so much evidence for law enforcement to process, making it vital that there is no duplication of effort.

“We need to ensure that all abuse content referral, at the national and regional levels, is fed systematically into the ICSE database in order to help reduce the lag between abuse and rescue,” concluded Secretary General Stock.

Environmental crime

The G7 Ministers also welcomed the significant work of INTERPOL in global efforts to counter crimes affecting the environment, and committed to taking action to combat illicit finance generated by these crimes.

According to estimates by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, countries currently intercept and recover less than one per cent of global illicit financial flows.

In September, INTERPOL and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) launched a joint initiative to deprive criminals of their illegal gains, marking a turning point in global efforts to recover illicit assets.

INTERPOL has developed its global stop-payment mechanism, the Anti-Money Laundering Rapid Response Protocol, which since January 2022 has already helped member countries recover more than USD 120 million in criminal proceeds from cyber-enabled fraud.

Illicit firearms

In outlining their support to Ukraine in its reconstruction efforts, in the field of security authorities the G7 Interior Ministers also highlighted the need for cooperation with INTERPOL.

To address the expected proliferation of illicit arms in the post-conflict phase, INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock outlined the value of INTERPOL’s Illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS) database.

With more than a million records, iARMS can help identify firearms trafficking patterns and smuggling routes and has assisted in tracing official weapon stockpiles diverted by Da’esh out of Iraq to the Caribbean and other regions.

Police worldwide can record illicit firearms in the iARMS database and can search seized weapons to check if they have been reported as lost, stolen, trafficked or smuggled. INTERPOL alerts can also be issued to its 195 member countries.

The system, financed by the European Union, also allows tracing of recovered/seized firearms in order to identify the exact moment when and where the weapon was diverted into illegal possession and to identify, through analysis, potential trafficking patterns, routes and traffickers.

https://www.interpol.int

11/25/2022

Bangladesh and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), a legal framework that can open up a new horizon of political and economic cooperation in the future.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and GCC Secretary General Dr Nayem Falah M Al-Hajraf signed the MoU in Manama, Bahrain on the sideline of Manama Dialogue on Friday.

Under this framework, Bangladesh and GCC will hold regular consultation for political, economic, cultural, climate change, agriculture, food security, and environment protection cooperation.

Before signing the MoU, Momen and Al-Hajraf held a meeting that was also attended by foreign ministry secretary (east) Mashfee Binte Shams and Bangladesh ambassador to Bahrain Md Nazrul Islam.

The GCC, a union of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, is home to about 50 lakh Bangladeshi migrants. There are scopes for these countries to recruit more skilled workers from Bangladesh, said Momen in a statement yesterday. During his meeting with the GCC secretary general, the foreign minister spoke of an energy security framework with the GCC -- something that is important in the wake of global fuel price hike amid Russia-Ukraine war.

Momen said migrant remittance is a major source of foreign currency, but money laundering or use of informal channel for remittance is harmful for both the GCC countries and Bangladesh. He stressed that GCC and Bangladesh can work jointly to address these issues.

https://www.thedailystar.net

11/24/2022

27 suspects arrested and massive amounts of drugs, cash as well as luxury vehicles and properties seized in two-part operation

Spanish authorities have arrested 10 persons suspected of being involved in drug trafficking and money laundering in the second phase of an operation supported by Europol. The Guardia Civil carried out house searches in a number of cities, which led to the disruption of a criminal network providing financial and technical support to other criminal groups in Europe. Europol, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and several countries* were involved in bringing down this organised crime group. 

*Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Türkiye and the United Kingdom

The first phase of the action took place less than a year ago in Barcelona and was decisive in obtaining conclusive evidence against this criminal organisation. Following an analysis of devices and documentation seized on the first action day, investigators were able to link 10 people with bringing 117 tons of hashish and over 3 tons of cocaine into Spain. During the second phase of the action, the Guardia Civil raided venues in Barcelona, Ceuta, Almería and Malaga, where the suspects of Spanish, German and Moroccan nationality were apprehended. Among them is the main suspect’s lawyer, who specialises in cases related to drug trafficking.

Impressive list of seized valuables and criminal assets

In total, Spanish authorities arrested 27 suspects in the two-phase action, who were relying on assets such as 39 phones, a satellite phone, 8 computers, 3 microphone scanners as well as a cash counting machine to conduct their criminal activities. The most tangible of the items seized include 14 tons of hashish, 5.1 tons of cocaine and more than 1 million EUR in cash, which are now in the hands of law enforcement. 

The organised crime group clandestinely imported boats and powerful engines from the Netherlands, made them ready on a ship off the coast of Portugal, and then used them to collect and transfer the drugs from Morocco to Spain. Three vessels were subsequently seized during the action days, adding to the impressive list of confiscated valuables. These include 11 real estate properties, 5 companies, 36 luxury cars, the contents of 58 bank accounts and 12 luxury watches.

Corporate business structure for money laundering

Europol’s European Financial and Economic Crime Centre (EFECC) was decisive in uncovering a variety of methods used to transfer and launder the proceeds generated by drug trafficking. These include the clandestine transport of large amounts of cash, the use of the hawala system to transfer money, and investments in luxury goods such as yachts, luxury watches, luxury vehicles or real estate property and renovations. The criminal network further invested in companies located in several European countries, and used loans and mortgages to businesses to launder illicit funds. 

Europol’s role

Europol has been providing analytical and operational support since 2020 and has helped to establish links with other investigations. It facilitated cooperation with other law enforcement agencies and analysed the business activity and corporate structure used to launder the money. Support was also provided on the spot during the action days by deploying a money-laundering specialist with a mobile office. 

Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime. We also work with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.

https://www.europol.europa.eu

11/23/2022

Cambodia has invited the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to visit the country and assess its progress in combating money laundering in January in an effort to be removed from FATF’s grey list of countries deemed high risk for money laundering, officials revealed on Thursday.

 

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng told a meeting of the national coordinating committee on anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, held in Phnom Penh on Thursday, that Cambodia has submitted its 10th round progress report to FATF which highlights “substantial progress” made since the 9th round report.

 

This comes after FATF confirmed in October that Cambodia remains on a list of Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring, meaning it is actively working with the agency to address what are described as “strategic deficiencies” in its AML mechanisms.

 

According to The Phnom Penh Post, Sar Kheng said Cambodia had fully implemented all of FATF’s recommended action plans and had therefore determined to allow FATF to assess the nation’s case in January 2023.

 

“We decided to allow the FATF to make an on-site visit to Cambodia,” he said. “It will be a golden opportunity for Cambodia to be removed from the grey list. That’s the last goal of the mission of the national coordination committee.”

 

However, Yang Kim Eng, president of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, warned, “Though we may get off of the grey list soon, we must remember that if we allow the same problems to return, then the grey list will come back to Cambodia one day.”

 

At the heart of Cambodia’s money laundering concerns are the nation’s rampant casino industry, with concerns raised in recent months over heightened instances of crime, particularly human trafficking, in places like Sihanoukville and border towns like Bavet.

 

It is these operations that have become the focus of a government-led crackdown on illegal casinos and gambling dens announced by Prime Minister Hun Sen in September.

 

The General Secretariat of the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia (CGMC) also issued new guidelines for the operation of commercial casinos with a view to stamping out illegal casino operations across the country.

 

https://www.asgam.com

11/21/2022

Police collaboration critical in fugitive investigation

LYON, France – Two suspects wanted in connection with an international Ponzi scheme which defrauded thousands of victims in the Republic of Korea have been arrested in Greece and Italy with INTERPOL support.
 
The Polish and German suspects, aged 49 and 61 respectively, were wanted internationally under INTERPOL Red Notices issued by Korean authorities for their alleged role in the scheme, which embezzled approximately EUR 28 million from some 2,000 Korean victims.
 
The arrests follow coordination between the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Greece, Italy, Poland and the Republic of Korea as well as the INTERPOL Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Centre (IFCACC), INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit, and its Cybercrime directorate.
 
The Polish suspect was arrested at Imola race circuit following real time information exchange between the NCB in Rome, Italy’s Guardia di Finanza Investigation unit and INTERPOL. Police at Athens International Airport arrested the German suspect as he attempted to travel to Dubai after an identity check detected his Red Notice status.
 
INTERPOL’s global network is further supporting on-going police investigations in Poland where criminals tied to the Ponzi scheme have allegedly scammed thousands of victims.
 
Posing as an investment opportunity promising attractive returns, the scheme exploited social media chat rooms to promote FutureNet, a large-scale international pyramid scheme which attracted investors via word of mouth and incited them to recruit others between 2016 and 2020.
 
The victims were led to believe they would benefit from their investment by buying advertisement packs and re-selling them at profit to new users via YouTube and Facebook.

“This global investigation underlines the critical nature in the digital age of police collaborating and exchanging information quickly via INTERPOL regarding crime suspects across international boundaries." Stephen Kavanagh, INTERPOL’s Executive Director for Police Services.

"Whilst there is more work to be done, our thanks go to colleagues in Greece, Italy, Korea, and Poland for these important arrests,” added Mr Kavanagh.
 
“The world only gets smaller for fugitives when there are no borders, and close international police cooperation has never been more crucial,” added Mr Kavanagh.
 
The arrests come as part of INTERPOL’s Haechi initiative, supported by the Republic of Korea, which coordinates operations against cyber-enabled financial crime.

INTERPOL launched IFCACC earlier this year, to provide a coordinated global response against the exponential growth in transnational financial crime.

https://www.interpol.int

11/18/2022

Governor of the Libyan Central Bank (CBL), Saddek Elkaber, attended Tuesday a conference at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli entitled (Fighting Corruption and its Role in Supporting Stability,) with the participation of ministers and officials from oversight and security organs.

Elkaber highlighted during his keynote address the efforts of the bank and its cooperation with state institutions to combat corruption, as he underlined three determinants for tackling this phenomenon.

In his address uploaded on the CBL's Facebook page, Elkaber cited the bank's leadership of the anti-corruption campaign carried out in cooperation with the relevant state institutions, noting that the bank is the monetary authority and the direct supervisor of the banking and financial sector through the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, the Libyan Information Unit, and the rest of its departments.

"Combating corruption requires harnessing all capabilities, reinforcing efforts, and the strong will," Elkaber said.

The scientific conference was attended by the PC member, Musa Al-Koni, the head of the Administrative Control Authority, Suleiman Al-Shanti, representatives from the Audit Bureau, the head of the Internal Security Agency, and a group of ministers.

https://www.libyaobserver.ly/economy/cbl-head-attends-conference-corrupt...

11/17/2022

A bureau created to strengthen Guernsey's response to financial crime has become enshrined in law.

 

The new law has established the Office of the Director of the Economic & Financial Crime Bureau (EFCB), the States said.

It also clarified the role of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to tackle money laundering and terrorism financing, it added.

The FIU fell under the EFCB but worked independently, the States said.

The EFCB has been operating since June 2021 under administrative provisions, but the new law provided clarity around its functions, the government said.

EFCB director Kevin Davis said the bureau's new legal status was "a very important milestone" as it "set out and clarified its responsibilities" as a "designated investigative authority".

He added: "Crucially, it makes provision for accessing a wide range of investigative powers and legal remedies that are vital if we are to successfully respond to the financial risks and threats faced by the bailiwick."

The EFCB will also help the island be "as prepared as it can be" for a forthcoming inspection by MoneyVal - the monitoring body of the Council of Europe.

https://www.bbc.com

11/16/2022

More than 300 experts from law enforcement, the private sector and academia gathered this week at Europol’s headquarters for what has become one of the world’s biggest platforms of exchange on cybercrime.

 

Under the theme “The Evolution of Policing – do we need a social contract in cyber space?” Europol’s Cybercrime Conference looked at the challenges and opportunities that the digital age present to policing. 

 

This two-day conference (19-20 October) organised by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) saw the participation of over 150 organisations and more than 58 different law enforcement agencies engaging in fruitful discussions on how to tackle the challenges at hand and proactively prepare for emerging technologies.  

 

Key themes discussed included: 

-Criminal investigations in the digital age

-The role of law enforcement in keeping the metaverse safe and secure

-Emerging technologies – separating fiction from real impact

-The future law enforcement officer – in which areas do we need to invest? 

 

The topic of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine was high on the agenda. This was reflected in this year’s keynote speeches, with Mikko Hyppönen from WithSecure delving into how technology is shaping conflicts and crises. In a moving address, a senior inspector at the Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine went on to explain the impact the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has had on their policing priorities. 

 

In his closing remarks, the Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Edvardas Šileris, said:

“These two days of lively, solution-orientated discussions between law enforcement, the industry and academia have proved how central public-private partnerships have become to running criminal investigations in the digital domain. I look forward to continue building on our trust relationships to deliver an improved international response to the ever-changing criminal landscape.” 

 

The conclusions of the conference, emphasised that: 

-Policing requires a future-proof and agile legal framework to operate in the digital age; regulation and innovation have to complement one another. 

-Public and private partnerships remain an essential dimension in the fight against cybercrime.

-While safety, security and privacy are the essence of our social contract, developments like the metaverse, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, etc. show the constant need for adaptation and evolution, at regional, national, and global level.

 

https://www.europol.europa.eu

11/15/2022

Europol Intellectual Property Crime Conference provides platform for sharing expertise in combating counterfeiting and piracy

On 27 and 28 October 2022, representatives from law enforcement agencies and the private sector met in Rome to share their expertise in the common fight against intellectual property crime. 400 experts from law enforcement agencies, private entities as well as key institutional partners gathered in this year’s edition of the Europol Intellectual Property Crime Conference organised in partnership with the Italian Guardia di Finanza and the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC). 

The annual event was launched in 2017 to gather law enforcement and private sector entities involved in the fight against intellectual property crime and provide a platform for public-private cooperation and innovation in this joint cause. After two years of online meetings, this 2022 edition responds to a growing need for an in-person gathering and networking among the attendees representing law enforcement agencies from 45 countries as well as 140 private entities. 

Counterfeiting and piracy continue to pose a serious threat to the health and safety of consumers, as well as to the European economy. Imports of counterfeit and pirated goods reached EUR 119 billion in 2019, accounting for 5.8 % of all goods entering the European Union. The latest Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment, produced jointly between Europol and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), reveals that the distribution of counterfeit goods has been thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, Deputy Executive Director of Europol, commented:

“Law enforcement and the industry community are required to adapt rapidly when facing the challenges presented in crises. Be it fake vaccines and medical devices, the pressure on the automotive spare parts market due to supply chain interruptions, or the distribution of counterfeit pesticides, intellectual property crime shows to be particularly reactive to crises. In light of these challenges, the importance of an effective public-private partnership is ever-growing. All major Europol operations targeting intellectual property crime involve close cooperation with private partners.”

Lieutenant General Giuseppe Vicanolo, Deputy General Commander of the Guardia di Finanza added:

“The importance of the interests involved in the protection of intellectual property and in the fight against related economic and financial violations, together with the complexity of the investigations on an international scale, make it necessary to pursue the most effective cooperation among institutions and other actors. Our institution is fully aware of that and will make any useful contribution for these purposes.”

Bob Barchiesi, President of IACC remarked:

“This conference is a platform for public and private entities to find synergies and solutions in the common fight against intellectual property crime. Our yearly event allows consolidation of partnerships and cooperation among public and private stakeholders. Recent crises have presented new criminal business opportunities for the distribution of counterfeit and substandard goods. Criminal networks involved in IP crime have been highly adaptable in adjusting their business model by shifting product focus and marketing as well as means of transport and routes. The yearly event gives the opportunity to collect useful information from brand owners about possible fraudulent practices and to share it with police bodies and customs.”

While the two-day conference centred on challenges in the context of crises, the 55 speakers shed light on further developments observed in recent times. While most counterfeit and substandard goods distributed in the EU are produced outside its borders, the frequent seizure of counterfeit packaging materials and semi-finished products upon import indicates the presence of manufacturing facilities in the EU. Another issue is the laundering of criminal proceeds, which is performed in both traditional and more sophisticated schemes relying on technology, trade-based money laundering, and offshore jurisdictions. These and more key topics will remain the focus of the public-private partnership which is set to convene again in Portugal next year.

https://www.europol.europa.eu

11/14/2022

The criminals are believed to have laundered over EUR 300 million of drug money every year

With the support of Europol and Eurojust, the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional) and Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria) have dismantled an organised crime group believed to be running Europe’s biggest ‘narco-bank’.

Composed mainly of Syrian nationals, the criminal network running this ‘bank’ provided financial services to criminal organisations linked to drug trafficking in more than twenty countries. Active since 2020, this criminal gang is believed to have laundered over EUR 300 million per year. 

On 27 September, over 200 law enforcement officers raided a total of 21 locations in the Spanish provinces of Málaga and Toledo, resulting in 32 arrests and the seizure of almost EUR 3 million of criminal assets.

Details of the seizures:

-EUR 428 205 in cash

-19 cryptocurrency accounts worth EUR 1.5 million

-11 luxury vehicles

-70 kilos of hashish, 1.2 tonnes of marijuana and a plantation with 995 marijuana plants

These seizures follow that of EUR 2.9 million in cash made over the course of the investigation. 

Organised crime groups could make payments, receive funds and even have their proceeds laundered by this internationally structured financial network. 

The Spanish city of Fuenlabrada appeared to be the centre of the underground bank. The criminals ran their money laundering activities from a local restaurant where their customers would come to deposit or collect bulk cash.

The hawala informal money transfer system was the main money laundering typology used to avoid law enforcement detection.  

Europol’s support was central in the development of the Spanish investigation. Since May 2020, Europol has been providing continuous intelligence development and analysis to map out the international activity of this criminal network. Two experts from its European Financial and Economic Crime Centre were also deployed to Madrid to assist the Spanish investigation with the cross-checking of operational information during the action day. 

This investigation was financially supported by the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT).

https://www.europol.europa.eu

11/11/2022

BIS - October 2022

-Twenty banks in Hong Kong SAR, Thailand, mainland China and the United Arab Emirates used the mBridge platform to conduct 164 payment and foreign exchange transactions totalling over $22 million.

-The pilot advances multi-CBDC experimentation by settling real value directly on the platform.

-The BIS will present the mBridge pilot at Hong Kong Fintech Week, along with updates on Project Aurum (retail CBDC) and Genesis 2.0 (green finance).

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and four central banks have completed a successful pilot of the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) by commercial banks for real-value transactions across borders, as part of Project mBridge.

The BIS Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre joined forces with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Bank of Thailand, the Digital Currency Institute of the People's Bank of China and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates. As detailed in a new report, 20 banks in the four jurisdictions used the mBridge platform to conduct 164 payment and foreign exchange transactions totalling over $22 million over six weeks, settled directly on the platform.

Project mBridge envisions an efficient, low-cost, regulatory-compliant and scalable cross-border payment solution with CBDC at its core. The experiment was designed to operate across different jurisdictions and currencies, to explore the capabilities of distributed ledger technology and the application of CBDC in cross-border payments between commercial banks. 

The project is part of the ongoing efforts to experiment with new technologies to deliver faster, cheaper and safer cross-border payments and settlements, a priority identified by the G20. Many jurisdictions, in particular emerging and developing economies, are losing access to the international network of correspondent banking services, leaving many households and firms without sufficient or affordable access to the global financial system for payments.

By enabling peer-to-peer and instant exchange of multiple CBDCs on a single network, Project mBridge aims to solve long-standing inefficiencies in cross-border payments and foster greater financial inclusion and innovation in international payments.

"Financial exclusion is not just a problem for individuals; it is also affecting economies," says Cecilia Skingsley, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub. "This project makes important strides towards developing a platform that has the potential to foster more inclusive and efficient payments systems that will benefit those making and receiving payments in different currencies and jurisdictions as well as the overall functioning of the global financial system."

The BIS will continue to work on this and similar projects to explore the user requirements, technical specifications, and governance framework needed for interoperable CBDCs. The mBridge project team will continue building the technology and testing it with a view to producing a product with enough features to be used by early adopters in the year ahead and a production-ready system thereafter.

The results of the pilot are to be presented at Hong Kong Fintech week, running from 31 October to 4 November, along with two other Hong Kong Centre projects:

-Project Aurum, conducted with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, created a prototype technology stack comprised of a wholesale interbank system and a retail e-wallet system. The system brings to life two different types of retail tokens: intermediated CBDC and CBDC-backed stablecoins. The latter is unique in the study of CBDC to date, backing the stablecoin with CBDC held in the interbank wholesale system. The source code is being made available in the BIS Open Tech platform, thus accessible to central banks exploring the best possible architecture for a retail CBDC.

-Project Genesis 2.0 demonstrates the technical feasibility of tokenised green bonds associated with so-called carbon forwards, or mitigation outcome interests. These are digitally tracked and automatically delivered to investors, as explained in a report. Genesis 2.0 is a collaboration between the BIS Innovation Hub's Hong Kong Centre, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub and private sector partners.

https://www.bis.org/press/p221026.htm

11/10/2022

Usage of emerging technologies like cryptocurrency and crowdfunding by terrorist will be among the key focus areas at the 'No Money For Terror' ministerial conference that will be hosted by India later this month.

The meet, which will take place in New Delhi from November 18-19 will be the third edition of the conference since 2018. The meeting in Delhi is being organised by India's ministry of home affairs. 

The first such conference took place in Paris in 2018, followed by another iteration in Australia in 2019. The meet was due to take place in India in 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid pandemic due to restrictions on global travel. 

While usage of cryptocurrency remains a worry, given its decentralised nature and lack of policing - focus on dark web by terrorists to seek transfer or crowdsource funds will be topping the agenda at the meet. 

The meet will deliberate on the usage of formal and informal channels of funds for terrorism, current global trends in terrorism and terror financing and seek international cooperation to address challenges in combating terrorism financing.

Sources pointed out that the conference in Delhi, "intends to include discussions on technical, legal, regulatory and cooperation aspects of all facets of terrorism financing and attempt to set the pace for similar high level official and political deliberations, focused on countering terror financing."

The conference also aims to strengthen the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) role in setting global standards. Sources explained that "more coordination is needed among states for international organisations to foster effective mechanism to combat terrorism financing."

It added that there is need for "better information sharing and cooperation among various stakeholders and, Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs)."

This is the second major conference under Indian leadership that will take place on dealing with the issue of counter-terrorism. Last month, India hosted the United Nations Security Council's counter-terror committee meeting.

This was the first time the committee met in India and only the seventh time that the meeting took place outside of New York. In December, under India's presidency of the security council, a meet on global counter-terror architecture will take place.

https://www.wionews.com

11/09/2022

The virtual world allows INTERPOL to offer immersive training courses to law enforcement across the globe

NEW DELHI, INDIA - The Metaverse isn’t coming soon. It’s already here.

At a surprise session of the 90th INTERPOL General Assembly in New Delhi, the global police organization unveiled the first ever Metaverse specifically designed for law enforcement worldwide.

Fully operational, the INTERPOL Metaverse allows registered users to tour a virtual facsimile of the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France without any geographical or physical boundaries, interact with other officers via their avatars, and even take immersive training courses in forensic investigation and other policing capabilities.

The INTERPOL Metaverse is provided through the INTERPOL Secure Cloud, ensuring its neutrality.

During the interactive session, General Assembly delegates in New Delhi were able to digitally enter the Lyon building through avatars, using virtual reality headsets.

“For many, the Metaverse seems to herald an abstract future, but the issues it raises are those that have always motivated INTERPOL – supporting our member countries to fight crime and making the world, virtual or not, safer for those who inhabit it,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

“We may be entering a new world, but our commitment remains the same,” the Secretary General added.

In a follow-up panel discussion, INTERPOL also announced the creation of an Expert Group on the Metaverse to represent the concerns of law enforcement on the global stage – ensuring this new virtual world is secure by design.

Not just for gamers

Far from being simply a gadget for gamers, the Metaverse is often discussed as the potential next stage in the development of the Internet. By 2026, one in every four people will spend at least an hour a day in the Metaverse to work, study, shop and socialize, according to technology research firm Gartner.

As the newly released INTERPOL Global Crime Trend report shows, crime has increasingly moved online as the pace of digitalization has increased. If the boundaries of our physical world move ever further into a digital – and seemingly borderless – realm, the panel discussion asked, ‘how can law enforcement continue to protect communities and guarantee the rule of law?’

How can police enhance their awareness of the threats but also harness the opportunities?

Criminals are already starting to exploit the Metaverse. The World Economic Forum, which has partnered with INTERPOL, Meta, Microsoft and others in an initiative to define and govern the Metaverse, has warned that social engineering scams, violent extremism and misinformation could be particular challenges.

As the number of Metaverse users grows and the technology further develops, the list of possible crimes will only expand to potentially include crimes against children, data theft, money laundering, financial fraud, counterfeiting, ransomware, phishing, and sexual assault and harassment.

For law enforcement, some of these threats are likely to present significant challenges, because not all acts that are criminalized in the physical world are considered crimes when committed in the virtual world.

“By identifying these risks from the outset, we can work with stakeholders to shape the necessary governance frameworks and cut off future criminal markets before they are fully formed,” said Madan Oberoi, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Technology and Innovation. “Only by having these conversations now can we build an effective response.”

New world, same commitment

The Metaverse holds many benefits for law enforcement, notably in terms of remote work, networking, collecting and preserving evidence from crime scenes, and delivering training.

Capacity building in the Metaverse holds particular promise, offering students more opportunities to collaborate and network, ensuring a greater engagement through immersion and enabling hands-on activities.

In a live demonstration, experts from the INTERPOL Capacity Building and Training Directorate delivered a training course on travel document verification and passenger screening using INTERPOL capabilities in a Metaverse classroom. Students were then teleported to an airport where they were able to apply their newly-acquired skills at a virtual border point.

“The Metaverse has the potential to transform every aspect of our daily lives with enormous implications for law enforcement,” said Mr Oberoi, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Technology and Innovation. “But in order for police to understand the Metaverse, we need to experience it."

https://www.interpol.int

11/08/2022

WELLINGTON, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government is strengthening its efforts to clamp down on money laundering and terrorism financing, making it easier for small businesses and consumers to comply.

"Our country is a safe place to do business, but we want to do as much as possible to disrupt the criminal economy, and improve how we detect, deter and eliminate money laundering," said Justice Minister Kiri Allan.

New Zealand is one of the least corrupt countries in the world, which also makes it more attractive for international money-launderers, Allan said, adding money laundering can threaten the country's international reputation.

The justice minister cited an evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force last year which found New Zealand was a highly effective international partner contributing to foreign investigations and tenaciously pursuing money laundering globally.

The government is now introducing changes aimed at improving the regime, following a review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act, she said.

The review also forms part of the government's response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry in response to the March 15 attacks in 2019 in which a gunman killed 51 people in two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

"The act disrupts serious and organized crime, as well as terrorism, by imposing obligations on businesses that provide specific financial and non-financial services, known as reporting entities," Allan said.

These obligations require reporting entities to assess their money laundering and terrorism financing risks, identify and know their customers, report suspicious activities and transactions, and maintain various records, she added.

https://english.news.cn

11/07/2022

Interpol - Global Congress highlights terrorists’ misuse of e-commerce

MARRAKESH, Morocco – The devastating impact of chemical weapons and explosives used in acts of terrorism continues to affect civilian populations and is well known for its destructive and long-term harm.

Last year over 1,000 improvised explosive device (IED) attacks were conducted by non-state actors, injuring over 7,150 people in more than 40 countries. Many attacks come from chemicals that criminals acquired through weak points in the supply chain – from manufacturing to storage and retail– and made into weapons.

To counter this threat, some 220 chemical security practitioners from more than 70 countries met at INTERPOL’s 3rd Global Congress on Chemical Security and Emerging Threats (25-27 October) to find ways of reducing vulnerabilities by enhancing multisector cooperation and collaboration.

With a focus on acquisition, transportation, physical and cyber security of chemical materials, the meeting highlighted a range of security issues, such as detecting cross-border movements of regulated material and implementing regulatory frameworks.

Terrorists’ misuse of e-commerce and new technologies

The Global Congress also explored ways to counter emerging threats including terrorists’ misuse of e-commerce and new technologies to acquire toxic and precursor chemicals.

Due to the substantial growth and access to the Internet in recent years, so too we have seen an increase in digital content produced and shared through platforms such as instant messaging, social networking, blogs and online portals. The misuse of technologies can be seen as a result of this rapid growth in content, and with it a rise in suspicious activities.

Law enforcement agencies provided examples of investigative techniques that could be used to identify and prosecute the illicit purchase or sale of chemicals on the Dark Net. These lessons provided delegates with solutions to address the use of sophisticated technologies for nefarious purposes.

"As the ramifications of such heinous acts resonate beyond borders and touch every level of society, a committed transversal and global response is required." Greg Hinds, INTERPOL, Counter-Terrorism Director

"The concerted effort of global law enforcement, along with our partners, is key to combatting the use of explosive precursor chemicals and chemical weapons,” Mr Hinds added.

Dual-use and precursor chemicals have a wide legitimate function in the production of consumer goods such as pharmaceuticals, cleaning supplies and fertilizers. This raises significant challenges to prevent and monitor, and remains one of the inherent threats to chemical security worldwide.

INTERPOL awareness video - ‘The Watchmaker’

In this context, an INTERPOL-produced awareness video was premiered at the meeting to engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders in understanding the importance of individuals and companies to secure dangerous toxic chemicals, including equipment.

Entitled ‘The Watchmaker’, the video highlights the need for multisector cooperation to combat these threats and will be used in a series of INTERPOL capacity building workshops and other activities related to counter-terrorism and prevention.

“Multisector collaboration is essential for us to tackle the threats we face from criminals who gain access to dangerous chemicals with malevolent intentions. Morocco is committed to strengthening the engagement of these issues as part of our proactive approach to combating terrorism,” said Mr. Mohammed Dkhissi, Head of National Central Bureau, Rabat.

Other measures proposed by the Global Congress Network include:

-Advocating chemical security recommendations such as increased retail reporting on suspicious activity;

-Expanding the INTERPOL-hosted Global Knowledge Hub, which allows members to engage in interactive discussions and access good practice guidance;

-Strengthening the Global Congress Network through greater diversity of expertise and activities across regions and sectors;

-Promoting decision-making tools such as a customer database, which can flag areas of security concern.

Since its inception in 2018, the Global Congress has been jointly led by INTERPOL, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and implemented in cooperation with the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

Learn more about our work on chemical terrorism prevention on our website via the links below.

https://www.interpol.int

11/04/2022

Member countries approve a series of resolutions to reinforce INTERPOL network and activities

NEW DELHI, India – The 90th INTERPOL General Assembly has ended with a series of resolutions to further strengthen INTERPOL’s network and capabilities as the Organization heads into its centenary year.

With discussions on how innovation and technology can be better integrated into INTERPOL’s day-to-day activities to support its 195 member countries, the four-day (18-21 October) conference saw the launch of the INTERPOL Metaverse, the first specifically designed for law enforcement worldwide.

Officially closing the General Assembly, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Over the last one hundred years INTERPOL has become a very large and effective platform comprising 195 countries and is playing a very important role in controlling crime across world.  

“Today, crime has become borderless and, if we want to stop these crimes and criminals, we need to think beyond conventional borders.”

INTERPOL’s first-ever Global Crime Trend report was also presented to delegates. Using data from the Organization’s 195 member countries, databases and external sources, the report highlights current and emerging threats at both the global and regional levels.

Financial crime, particularly money laundering, was among one of the highest ranking threats. To address these crimes, delegates approved a resolution calling for greater action to tackle financial crime and corruption. This would include the creation of an Expert Working group to assess various proposals In relation to the exchange of financial information and the tracing and recovery of criminal assets.

Delegates also approved a resolution calling for greater efforts to identify and investigate online child sexual abuse through the creation of specialized units and increased use of INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation database.

With an increasing number of unidentified human remains and individuals in relation to missing person cases, fuelled by global mass migration and human trafficking, the General Assembly called for more effective use of the I-Familia database by member countries.

The result of cutting-edge scientific research, I-Familia seeks to identify missing persons or unidentified human remains by using DNA samples from family members.

Recognizing the need to prioritize diversity at the General Secretariat, the General Assembly approved a resolution supporting a series of measures to be implemented in order to proactively seek candidates from under and unrepresented countries.

The General Assembly also elected three new Executive Committee members. Peter De Buysscher of Belgium was elected as Vice President for Europe, with Alaa El Din Mohamed Abdalah Raga from Egypt and Anne-Marie Nainda from Namibia elected Delegates for Africa. All three new Executive Committee members will serve a three-year term.

The 91st General Assembly will be held in Vienna, Austria, where INTERPOL was officially created in 1923.

https://www.interpol.int

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