Islamic Republic of Iran

The First Regional Computer Based Training on "Anti-Money Laundering, Illegal Financial Flows and Suspect Cash Transactions"

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, organized a Regional Computer Based Training (CBT) on "Anti-Money Laundering, Illegal Financial Flows and Suspect Cash Transactions". The training was held at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Tehran from 12 to 15 February 2012. It brought together representatives of the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of the region with the aim to enhance their prevention and investigation capacities, improve their knowledge on the work of other FIUs from the region, and provide recommendations on the organization and conduction of other trainings at the regional level.

Countries of the region are heavily affected by trafficking in narcotics, especially opiates, originating from Afghanistan and destined for markets in Europe and the rest of the world. In order to prevent the proceeds originated by drug trafficking from entering and disturbing their legal financial market, governments have been working closely with UNODC in the framework of its Regional Programme to strengthen their Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) capabilities. The UNODC "Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries (2011-2014)" was jointly launched in December 2011 by Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the UNODC.

In Iran, UNODC has been supporting the government efforts to fight against money-laundering and financing of terrorism since 2007. In the framework of its "Country Programme for the I.R. of Iran (2011-2014) launched in March 2011, UNODC has implemented a series of technical assistance activities designed to expose the counterparts to best practices and international standards in order to bring the Iranian AML/CFT legislative and institutional framework in line with UN and international standards.   The I.R. of Iran has adopted its AML legislation in 2008. In 2009, it ratified the bylaws which resulted in the implementation of the AML legislation as well as the set up of the High Council on Anti-Money Laundering, the Executive Secretariat and the Iranian Financial Intelligence Unit.

At the training's opening session, Mr. Meisam Nasiri Ahmadabadi, Director General of the FIU in the I.R of Iran emphasized the importance of regional cooperation in the area of AML/CFT. He said "this training will contribute to enhancing the States capacities to prevent, identify and investigate money laundering cases at the regional level".

The Regional CBT was followed by the Second Regional "FIU to FIU meeting" with the purpose to establish operational links between AML experts, to discuss and explore the possibility of signing a regional Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on AML/CFT, to foster South-South cooperation, and to exchange information on practical cases. The meeting offered the opportunity to present, discuss and distribute amongst participants a Regional Model MoU on AML/CFT matters and to share some cases related to money laundering. Participants agreed that the initiative was very positive and the training should be expanded and replicated in the future for other regional AML/CFT experts.