More than 100 anti-money laundering law enforcement investigators from 46 jurisdictions met on 23 and 24 September 2015 in Toledo, Spain, to discuss current operational challenges concerning money laundering.
The meeting provided a unique opportunity for professional investigators from across the globe to develop contacts, share case examples and best practices to enhance the effectiveness of cross-border investigations into money laundering. The high-level experts discussed in detail topical issues regarding main anti-money laundering activities relating to cash and gold, new technologies, international financial centres and international cooperation.
A Europol expert provided an insight into the money laundering risk presented by cash, gold and other bearer instruments. Cash remains one of the most significant money laundering threats. Physical cash smuggling remains one of the prevalent methods used by criminals to launder profits. Highly conservative estimates based on records received by Europol show that EUR 1.5 billion in cash is detected and/or seized by EU Member State authorities each year. Nevertheless, linking cash to criminal activities remains a key challenge for law enforcement.
Europol assisted the Anti-Money Laundering Section of the Spanish National Police in the organisation of this annual general meeting of the Anti-Money Laundering Operational Network (AMON).
AMON, launched in 2012, is an international network of law enforcement practitioners working in the area of anti-money laundering investigations. Its aim is to promote cooperation via a network of international anti-money laundering practitioners currently representing 21 jurisdictions and three international organisations. The AMON investigators focus on all aspects of anti-money laundering activities and place a special emphasis on speedier responses to operational matters. Europol hosts the secretariat for the network and assists in the organisation of the annual meeting. Europol anti-money laundering experts deliver presentations and provide their contributions to working groups. AMON is guided by a steering group currently led by the Spanish presidency, and other countries involved include Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Europol which has observer status.