Egypt: Follow the Money and Find the Trafficker: Financial Investigation workshop to address Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants  

Cairo, Egypt

Trafficking in Persons (TiP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SoM) are two crimes that involve moving human beings for profit. A significant proportion of such profit flows through the global financial system and therefore it is vitally important for investigators and prosecutors to have:

•           An understanding of investigative techniques to analyze illicit financial flows associated with TIP and SOM cases from an intelligence and evidentiary perspective;

•           An understanding of what information financial institutions are able to assist with and how they can be important partners in the detection of the illicit proceeds from trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants;

•           The potential for analysis of illicit financial flows to be used as the basis for prosecution under Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and other related laws. 

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has provided Member States with legal and technical advice and assistance in the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its supplementary Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Trafficking in Persons Protocol) and Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (Smuggling of Migrants Protocol).

Providing this framework and a dynamic approach to tackling crimes of TiP and SoM, UNODC held a workshop in Cairo, Egypt on Financial Investigation of Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, to train Egyptian law enforcement agencies on methods of conducting financial investigation and analysis in the crimes of trafficking and smuggling.

The workshop aimed to introduce the importance of conducting financial investigations from the outset of investigating cases of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants and that such investigations may prove very effective in supporting charges and evidence obtained from traditional methods.

The workshop was attended by law enforcement agencies; notably the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), the Ministry of Interior, the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Combating Unit, and other law enforcement agencies responsible for undertaking financial investigation and detecting financial transactions related to both crimes.

Discussions included various topics on TiP and SoM; including international instruments; respective UN Conventions and Protocols; financial investigations; misuse of financial institutions; laundering the proceeds; open source investigation tools; and overview of cases and financial investigation in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

This workshop was organized within the framework of the UNODC regional project on "Strengthening the Financial Investigation Capacity to Combat Money Laundering Arising from Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants' Crimes," funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in Egypt and Morocco.