Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Inter-regional training workshop on: Reducing the risks from the abuse of Money and Value Transfer Services (MVTS)

 4 - 7 July 2017, Beijing, China. 

 

Tackling illicit financial flows and money laundering is a core element of the overall effort to combat drug trafficking and transnational organised crime in Afghanistan, and more widely in West and Central Asia. UNODC works on building networks between countries and between regions to support investigations into financial crimes.

In this regard, representatives from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, People's Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Republic of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, recently joined efforts to share experiences and best practices on combating the abuse of the money and value transfer services (MVTS). The training was held as part of UNODC's Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (RP) funded by contributions from the EU.

The inter-regional training course, entitled "Reducing the risks from the abuse of Money and Value Transfer Services (MVTS)", was convened in Beijing, China from 4-7 July 2017. Together with the RP, the training course was organised by UNODC's Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and Financing of Terrorism (GPML) in partnership with the People's Bank of China. The training was tailored specifically for representatives from the RP, as well as China.

The event, which was open by the Director General of the Anti-Money Laundering Bureau of the People's Bank of China, Mr. Liu Xiangmin, was attended by experts on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism from the relevant law enforcement agencies, Financial Intelligence Units, prosecuting authorities, customs agencies, central banks and Ministries of Foreign Affairs. During the four-day event, participants received training and discussed issues including: the importance of MVTS (such as Hawala and Western Union) as related to migrant remittances and fragile economies; the abuse of MVTS by transnational organised crime, terrorist networks and corrupt officials; sensitive investigation techniques; forensics strategies and evidence handling; and the challenges of prosecuting crimes across different legal systems. Mock investigations and the study of practical cases were part of the programme and helped the participants increase their ability to effectively investigate the abuse of MVTS.

Specific threats faced by individual countries were also identified, shared and discussed including heroin trafficking, abuse of non-profit organisations, financing of advanced improvised explosive device networks and terrorist financing flows from suspected donors in countries in the Middle East to fund the travel of foreign terrorist fighters in Syria and Iraq. In the margins of the event, meetings were held which identified the participants' willingness to sign a memorandum of understanding on information sharing.

UNODC thanks the European Union for funding the event.

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