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The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Pacific region arranged the meeting last week to enhance the collaboration between numerous regional authorities to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The conference allows FIU’s officers and regional state authorities to explore the initiatives to combat financial crimes, including joint operations, technological innovations and capacity-building activities. Pacific Financial Intelligence Community (PFIC) arranged the meeting at the Edgewater Resort, which was held for over three days. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Cook Islands Financial Intelligence Unit (CIFIU) hosted the meeting. The financial unit discussed the robust technology to comply with international AML derivatives and urged regional states to jointly investigate the economic-related crime to strengthen the region’s financial sector.
The Cook Islands FIU chairperson, Walter Henry, has requested the extension of regional risk assessment measures and designed these regulations, which can be endorsed in all Pacific regions. He stresses this is an essential need for regional states and governing bodies to develop a model which controls all of the Pacific. Other members also accepted this proposal and signed an MoU, “PFIC Collaboration and Information Sharing: Statement of Intent,” for transparency in information sharing between regions and to move ahead as a partner to combat money laundering. They also agree to focus on the loopholes and deficiencies in their AML system to create an adequate legal framework for securing the integrity of the global economic sector.
The collaborative initiatives are endorsed in the meeting to promote information sharing amongst PFIC members by exchanging lists of people of interest, proactively sharing information, and collaborative evaluation through international intelligence projects. Additionally, partnerships with other members of the broader anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing community are explored. Moreover, they also implement strategic plans to enhance the collaboration between the different government bodies such as the Pacific Islands Chief of Police, financial regulatory authorities, Asia Pacific Group on Terrorist Financing and the Pacific Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Supervisors Forum. This will allow them to join the investigation with the international financial watchdog and non-Pacific money laundering institutes as well as establish the latest global legal framework.
In the next year, the PFIC will endorse the latest regulations to combat narcotics trafficking, corruption, Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), Transnational Serious Organised Crime (OMCGs), and Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE). The PFIC will also ensure financial institutions are adequately equipped to detect and prevent financial crime. Furthermore, the PFIC will provide technical assistance to financial organisations in the region to help them implement the regulations.