Financial investigations and links to money laundering training workshops in Nepal and Bhutan

Posted on 30 June 2018.

Illegal financial transactions and illicit money flows derived from criminal activities across borders represent an area of challenge and priority for many societies today. Consequences are serious not only for the countries' prosperity and development, but also their national security and efforts to counter the spread of serious organized crime.

Financial investigations are the most effective tool to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. Legitimate gathering of financial information has proven to increase countries` abilities to effectively address and respond to gaps in financial transparency, thus reducing potential for corruption.

The training events were designed, developed and delivered following the recommendations from the consultant and taking into consideration the national legal and institutional context, as well as trends in corruption and serious crimes in these countries.

Each event was tailored and offered to a selected group of anti-corruption investigators, prosecutors, judges and representatives of the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). Participants learned tools to investigate financial aspects of complex corruption crimes, to effectively follow the money and, by enhancing the inter-agency cooperation as well as international collaboration, to obtain evidence of illicit financial transactions.

Guided by the consultant, participants were required to walk through the investigation of a serious and complex hypothetical case and follow the money traces. The aim of the trainings was to highlight the importance of financial investigation in all criminal offences, given the complexity of organized criminal groups in a modern world and emerging trends in money-laundering schemes.

The training events offered presentations on money laundering schemes and trends; bank documentation; hawala and hundi trends; UNCAC standards in financial and cross-border rules and limitations; and highlighted the roles of the FIUs in corruption investigations and effective inter-agency collaboration.

In many aspects, the training events presented a novel approach to traditional investigations and challenged models of traditional inter-agency "functional" cooperation to promote the "investigative tool" model.