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Improving the understanding of terrorist financing in West Africa and advancing other research

This week, experts from FATF and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) came together to further research on the methods and trends used to launder illicit assets.  These annual expert meetings help to gain a better understanding of the methods, techniques and trends of money laundering and terrorist financing.  A series of workshops during the meeting provide valuable input into current research by permitting, where possible, regional experiences to be taken into account.

This year’s meeting of experts was jointly organised by the FATF and the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering (GIABA), in Dakar, Senegal from 26-28 November.  A special theme of this year’s meeting focussed on improving the understanding of terrorist financing in West Africa.

Workshops during the meeting dealt with the following five areas of research, which are expected to result in published FATF research reports in the second half of 2013.

Money laundering and terrorist financing related to counterfeiting of currency

This research project examines how the proceeds from counterfeit currency are laundered and/or used in the financing of terrorism.

Terrorist financing in West Africa

This typologies exercise, led by GIABA, aims to determine  the methods used to raise, move and use funds for terrorist purposes in West Africa, a region that finds it increasingly at risk for such activity. 

Money laundering and terrorist financing vulnerabilities of legal professionals

Legal professionals are often referred to among key “gatekeepers” to the financial system.  The main goal of this research is to understand the degree to which the legal profession is at risk of money laundering and terrorist financing and will help to raise awareness on this subject.

Money laundering and terrorist financing through trade in diamonds and other precious stones

This research, led by the Egmont Group, looks at the characteristics of the trade in diamonds and other precious stones with the objective of identifying vulnerabilities that may be exploited for money laundering and/or terrorist financing purposes.   

Role of hawala in money laundering  and terrorist financing

This research builds on earlier work carried out by the FATF and other bodies, aims to identify and understand how certain types of money and value transfer systems are exploited for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes.