Uzbekistan and UNODC Joint Efforts in Enhancing Cooperation between Financial Investigation Units and Commercial Banks

Commercial banks are the first level of any financial flow where internal control can track and reveal suspicious financial transactions and provide the state authorities with the results of internal investigation. The banks have full access to the clients' documentation and play a key role in the cycle of actions to reveal the risks of illicit financial flows. To enhance anti-money laundering capacity of Uzbekistan, UNODC ROCA jointly with the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan conducted a the training on Countering drug trafficking related illicit financial flows, money-laundering and the financing of terrorism (ML/FT) in Tashkent from 21-24 January 2020. The compliance service specialists of ten commercial banks, representatives of Central Bank of Uzbekistan, the Department on Combating Economic Crimes under the General Prosecutor's Office, as well as the experts from the Academy of General Prosecutor's Office took part at this workshop.

"We truly consider this great opportunity for further successful cooperation between internal control departments and national banks, Department on Combating Economic Crimes under the General Prosecutor's Office and the Academy. It will serve as the basis of the complex programme to prepare the country for mutual evaluation according to the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) recommendation."- noted Mr. Uygun Nigmadjanov, Deputy Head, Academy of the General Prosecutor's Office, welcoming the training participants.

Illicit drug trafficking, and other types of organized crime generate significant crime proceeds that are subsequently laundered and invested in legitimate economy. In this case, banks are expected to be able to identify illicit financial flows, and the government agencies to detect and disrupt illicit financial flows and confiscate crime proceeds.

The overall objective of the training was to strengthen capacity within the Department on Combating Economic Crimes, key national law enforcement agencies and financial sector to better conduct operational analysis, as well as detect and combat drug trafficking related illicit financial flows, money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. The trainings contributed to improvement of skills in conducting operational analysis (as required by FATF) of specialists of the Department on Combating Economic Crimes and compliance service specialists of the banks. Such skills are necessary to follow the trail of particular activities and transactions, and to determine links between possible proceeds from narcotics, money laundering, predicate offences and terrorist financing.

"This training supports Member States' ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goal - 16.4 "By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets..." and will support their ability to meet their FATF/FSRB (Financial Action Task Force/FATF Style Regional Bodies) action items under the next round of mutual assessments." - highlighted Mr. Mr. Aliaksandr Vadziany, UNODC Adviser on counter-narcotics, anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism

The training is organised within the #2.5 of the Plan of Practical Measures ("Road map") on Further Development of Cooperation of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the UNODC and the Sub-Programme 1 "Countering transnational organised crime, illicit drug trafficking and preventing terrorism" of UNODC Programme for Central Asia for 2015-2020, and is generously funded by the US Department of State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

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