FATF, Interpol and UNODC call for urgent steps to target the profits of transnational organised crime

‘Safeguarding financial integrity is vital to promoting peace and security, driving sustainable development, and shielding the most vulnerable,’ UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly said

Updated - May 20, 2024 07:03 am IST

Published - May 19, 2024 05:45 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Photo used for representation purpose only. | Photo Credit: AP

The heads of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Interpol, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have called for the need to urgently step up efforts to target the huge illicit profits generated by transnational organised crime that facilitate conflicts, fund terrorism, and negatively impact vulnerable populations.

The issue was raised at a side event of the 33rd Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna a few days ago. Heads of the three international organisations were of the view that disincentivising criminal activity through targeting illicit profits would also positively impact across all goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, including financial stability, inclusive economic growth, and strengthened institutions and governance.

“Global financial integrity is critical for financial stability, inclusion, and for peace and security...it can only be achieved through the robust and effective implementation of money laundering and terrorist financing standards,” FATF President T. Raja Kumar said, speaking on the occasion. He said the FATF was committed to playing its part and stepping up its work on the cross-cutting activities which enabled all serious crime, especially the laundering of the proceeds of crime.

Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said all possible avenues should be explored to deprive criminals of illicit gains. Choking off illegal revenue streams was essential in promoting rule of law and protecting vulnerable communities.

“Money laundering, terrorism financing, and their predicate offences are fuelling instability, violence, and exploitation worldwide. Safeguarding financial integrity is vital to promoting peace and security, driving sustainable development, and shielding the most vulnerable,” UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly said, adding that the UNODC would work with governments, the private sector, the FATF, and the Interpol to dismantle illegal financial networks that sustained terrorism and transnational organised crime.

Highlighting the recent enhancements to the FATF’s international standards on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing, the three leaders also stressed on accelerated policy reforms and capacity building ahead of the UN 2026 Crime Congress, to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates. They also appreciated the positive impact of member countries increasingly working with the private sector and civil society to implement joint approaches to fighting financial crime.

Issues ranging from capacity building, effective implementation of a risk-based approach, and multi-sectoral partnerships to technology as the key accelerators to boost effectiveness in the global fight against financial crime were discussed at the event titled ‘Taking the Profits Out of Crime: Accelerating the Effective Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Standards Globally’.

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