Call for urgent action to fight money laundering & terror financing

FATF, Interpol & UNODC ask nations to step up efforts to target illicit finance

Society

May 14, 2024

/ By / Paris

Call for urgent action to fight money laundering & terror financing

The three organisations met in Austrian capital Vienna, at a high-level Side Event on the first day of the 33rd Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

Seeking to curb money laundering by transnational organised crime and terror groups, heads of three international bodies ask nations to step up their efforts to target illicit finance.

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Countries need to urgently step up their efforts to target the huge illicit profits generated by transnational organised crime that facilitate conflicts, fund terrorism and negatively impact vulnerable populations.

This was the unprecedented call to action by the heads of three multilateral bodies that are united in fighting organised crime and money laundering.

In a press statement, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that is global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, says that its own head T Raja Kumar was joined by the heads of Interpol and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in issuing the joint call for urgent action.

FATF says that the chiefs of the three organisations met in Austrian capital Vienna, at a high-level Side Event on the first day of the 33rd Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

It adds that by focussing on the proceeds of crime and the illicit financial networks behind them, Member States can more effectively combat and disrupt organised crime networks and enhance the effectiveness of crime prevention efforts.

T Raja Kumar

T Raja Kumar

Disincentivising criminal activity through targeting illicit profits would also positively impact across all Goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, such as inclusive economic growth, financial stability, 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. The FATF is committed to playing its part and stepping up our work on the cross-cutting activities which enable all serious crime, especially the laundering of the proceeds of crime. We must seize the initiative and collectively implement asset recovery to cut off the lifeblood of criminal enterprise, their money and their assets. This must be a key preventive strategy that all governments must adopt,” says T Raja Kumar, President, FATF. 

Jürgen Stock

“Just as criminals will trade any commodity to generate profits, every avenue must be followed to deprive them of these illicit gains. Choking off the illegal revenue streams is essential in promoting rule of law and protecting vulnerable communities. Action across all sectors and at the global level is needed now, and Interpol stands ready to provide whatever support necessary,” says Jürgen Stock, Secretary General, Interpol.

“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 stands ready to work with governments, the private sector and our partners at FATF and Interpol to enhance financial and criminal investigations, to dismantle the illegal financial networks that sustain terrorism and transnational organised crime,” says ,” said Ghada Waly, Executive Director, UNODC.

Ghada Waly

The statement adds that while the three leaders highlighted recent enhancements to FATF’s international standards on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing, they also called for accelerated progress on policy reforms and capacity building ahead of the UN 2026 Crime Congress, to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates.

With financial integrity a key pillar in creating stability, of particular importance is the greater support still required for countries struggling to implement effective anti-money laundering and terrorist financing frameworks.

They also recognised the positive impact of Member States increasingly working with the private sector and civil society to implement joint approaches to fighting financial crime. Operational work through public private partnerships and task forces is accelerating and increasing the effectiveness of global implementation efforts, they said.

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