The value of information exchange at an international level in support of respective law enforcement efforts has proven itself to be highly significant. FIUs have a unique ability to exchange financial information that may be helpful to following the financial trail for law enforcement investigations, including those related to terrorism, and uncovering criminal assets.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body which sets standards, and develops and promotes policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The revised Forty Recommendations of FATF provide a complete set of counter-measures against money laundering covering the criminal justice system and law enforcement, the financial system and its regulation, and international co-operation. These Recommendations have been recognised, endorsed, or adopted by many international bodies as the international standards for combating money laundering.
FATF-Financial Action Task Force
The Egmont Group serves as an international network fostering improved communication and interaction among FIUs. Egmont Group is named after the venue in Brussels where the first such meeting of FIUs was held in June of 1995. The goal of the Egmont Group is to provide a forum for FIUs around the world to improve support to their respective governments in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes. This support includes:
- expanding and systematizing international cooperation in the reciprocal exchange of financial intelligence information,
- increasing the effectiveness of FIUs by offering training and personnel exchanges to improve the expertise and capabilities of personnel employed by FIUs,
- fostering better and secure communication among FIUs through the application of technology, presently via the Egmont Secure Web (ESW), and
- promoting the establishment of FIUs in those jurisdictions without a national anti-money laundering/terrorist financing program in place, or in areas with a program in the beginning stages of development.
The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) was officially established as an autonomous regional anti-money laundering body in February 1997 at the Fourth (and last) Asia/Pacific Money Laundering Symposium in Bangkok , Thailand . The purpose of the APG is to facilitate the adoption, implementation and enforcement of internationally accepted anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing standards set out in the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The APG's role includes assisting jurisdictions in the region to enact laws dealing with the proceeds of crime, mutual legal assistance, confiscation, forfeiture and extradition. It also includes the provision of guidance in setting up systems for reporting and investigating suspicious transactions and helping in the establishment of financial intelligence units. The APG undertakes studies of methods and trends of money laundering and the financing of terrorism in the Asia/Pacific region. The APG allows for regional factors to be taken into account in the implementation of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures and provides for peer review by means of a mutual evaluation process.
The APG is a voluntary and co-operative international body established by agreement among its members and is autonomous. It does not derive from an international treaty nor is it part of any international organisation. However, it keeps itself informed of action taken or formal agreements made by relevant international and regional organisations or bodies in order to promote a consistent global response to money laundering and terrorist financing. The work to be done by the APG and its procedures is decided by consensus agreement among its members.