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UNODC and Seychelles working together to combat the financing of criminal activities

Seychelles UNODC mentoring counter terrorism financing Victoria, SeychellesEastern Africa is confronted with the spread of organised crime, human trafficking, corruption and money laundering. The proceeds of these criminal activities are often used to finance terrorist activities.

Terrorism and organized crime, in turn, destabilize governments and undermine security, peace, economic, and social development.

No country is immune from these growing threats and following a request for assistance from the Government of Seychelles, UNODC is supporting the Financial Criminal Intelligence Unit (FCIU) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) through specialized technical training and mentorship with an embedded UNODC financial investigations advisor.

The support will allow law enforcement officers to better conduct financial investigations and learn how to work efficiently with financial intelligence.

As part of the mentorship programme, UNODC and Seychelles are working together on developing a tailored financial investigative methodology, attuned to the current challenges in the investigation of illicit financial flows in Seychelles as well as the region of Eastern Africa. This includes illicit cash transfers, hawala payments, increased use of mobile money, and the rapid expansion in the illicit application of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

When applied as a standard tool to deal with the illicit proceeds of crime, the methodology will help effectively combat money laundering, corruption, as well as organized crime and terrorist financing.

As part of the UNODC support, officers from the Police Commercial Crimes unit; the Revenue Commission; Customs; the FIU, the Seychelles Intelligence Services and the Anti-Corruption Commission; Attorney General’s office, the Coast Guard, Immigration, and Anti-Corruption Commission have strengthened their skills through a robust five-day workshop on the use of financial intelligence in support of criminal investigations and a series of individual mentoring sessions which specifically addressed the practical identification and handling of suspicious cash.

While one of the most basic forms of moving the proceeds of crime, illicit cash handling in money laundering and anti-terrorist financing investigations has its challenges. 

Seychelles UNODC mentoring counter terrorism financing

Benefiting from one-on-one interaction with an expert law enforcement mentor, officers were introduced to advanced and good practices in case management, physical handling (chain of custody) of seized cash, use of observations and circumstantial evidence in formulating a suspicion and how to draft a supporting affidavit for the potential of money laundering investigations as well as preservation and forfeiture purposes in cash seizure cases.

Additionally, through group sessions, law enforcement officers engaged in discussions on their respective and individual challenges from the agencies they represent, which has enhanced inter-agency cooperation and emphasized the need for effective referral mechanisms and communication channels, which is critical to detect, prevent and counter illicit financial flows.

Going forward, UNODC will assist Seychelles in developing Standard Operation Procedures to optimize effective cash seizure. On the regional level, UNODC will continue providing technical and legislative assistance to enhance the capacity of law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners to prevent, detect, and suppress money laundering and terrorist financing in Eastern Africa. 

 The assistance was delivered as part of the Supporting the EAPPCO and its Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence to Prevent and Counter Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime in Eastern Africa project, funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

See UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa (2030) here.

For more information, please contact: 

Mr Julius Lemako (lemako@un.org)
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer
UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa