Anti-money laundering experts call for more international cooperation

07 June 2019
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Experts from around the world met in Sofia on 5 and 6 June for the annual general meeting of the Anti-Money Laundering Operational Network.

Less profit? Less crime!

Organised crime is profit-driven. Depriving criminals of their profit is one of the most effective deterrents. Reinforcing cooperation between anti-money laundering experts worldwide is key to combating many crime areas. The concept of ‘no gain, no crime’ formed the basis of the Anti-Money Laundering Operational Network (AMON) meeting in Sofia, which was attended by experts from 37 countries. Participants were from EU Member States, Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Georgia, Israel, North Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine, the USA.

Prevention and disruption before prosecution 

Experts discussed how law enforcement authorities ought to be ready to explore all possible avenues to fight money laundering, by being proactive and identifying the weaknesses and deficiencies, which allow the misuse of the financial systems. Law enforcement should endeavour to find all available opportunities and instruments to disrupt money laundering, including strong cooperation with the financial sector. Three dedicated workshops provided the opportunity to go deeper into the core topics in money laundering – underground banking and trade-based money laundering, the misuse of new payments methods to launder proceeds and complex financial crimes.

The event was organised under the Bulgarian Presidency of AMON and was supported by AMON’s steering group (Belgium, France, Netherlands, Spain, and the UK). DG HOME, the Directorate-General of the European Commission responsible for migration and home affairs, endorses the effort to build and maintain a network of anti-money laundering practitioners. The initiative is funded by a grant from ISF Police (Internal Security Fund - Police). 

The Financial Intelligence Unit at Europol hosts the permanent secretariat of AMON as part of Europol’s efforts to enhances the effectiveness of cross-border investigations into money laundering by providing fast responses and pooled expertise.