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Second International Conference on Illicit Cash Couriers

30 abril 2009

Second International Conference on Illicit Cash Couriers

Brussels, 30 April 2009

Money laundering is hugely detrimental to a nation’s social stability and economic development. It is not a stand-alone crime but is instead heavily intertwined with other types of offences and criminal activities, such as trafficking in drugs, weapons, stolen vehicles, works of art, counterfeit goods, etc.

The international community is unanimous; a coordinated multilateral effort is required to combat money laundering, including the risks posed by alternative remittance systems and especially the practice known as “cash couriers”, in other words individuals transporting ready cash.

Participants at this Second International Conference on Illicit Cash Couriers, jointly organized by Interpol and the WCO in Brussels from 27 to 30 April 2009, turned their attention to this practice in particular, and to the need to step up global efforts to combat illicit cash trafficking perpetrated by terrorist and criminal organizations.

Approximately one hundred delegates representing some sixty countries and seven international and regional organizations – resolute in their desire to work together to fight illicit cash trafficking – were afforded the opportunity to share their experiences and best practices, discuss actual cases and analyse constraints and realities encountered in the field.

The Conference gave an overall picture of the modi operandi used to launder the proceeds of crime and promoted wide-scale cooperation to combat the transport of illicit hard cash.

The importance of Customs-Police cooperation was underscored with several presentations highlighting the benefits that a coordinated approach to this threat would confer on these two enforcement services, on border agencies, and on financial intelligence units at the national and international level. Participants especially focused on the importance of pursuing efforts to ensure that close cooperation based on existing legal instruments, namely mutual administrative assistance agreements for the exchange of information and intelligence, is implemented in an effective and efficient manner to combat this scourge.

Given the links between illicit trafficking in hard cash, money laundering and terrorist funding, participants agreed on a series of recommendations that they will address to WCO and Interpol Members urging them to participate more actively in the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) through national or regional working groups – active participation will enable the best possible use to be made of all instruments, tools, databases, instructional material and existing best practice guides, enhance the sharing of intelligence, information, documentation and experiences, and finally, encourage commitment to and participation in other joint regional or multilateral operational activities to combat money laundering.

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