FATF workshop on the role of judges and prosecutors in tackling money laundering and terrorist financing in Africa and the Middle East.

Outcomes from the FATF workshop on anti-money laundering (AML)/countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) for judges and prosecutors: experiences, challenges and best practices with the collaboration of MENAFATF, GIABA, GABAC and ESAAMLG.

Tunis, 27-28 February 2018 - The FATF and FATF-Style Regional Bodies MENAFATF, GIABA, GABAC and ESAAMLG jointly organised a workshop for judges and prosecutors that focused on their experiences, challenges and best practices in investigating and prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing and confiscating criminal proceeds. The Tunisian Financial Analysis Committee hosted the event in Tunis from 27 to 28 February 2018.

Approximately 90 delegates representing 43 delegations, including anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing expert prosecutors, investigative and trial judges participated in the workshop. These practitioners shared their experiences of the challenges they face during the investigation and prosecution of money-laundering and terrorist-financing offences and the confiscation of proceeds linked with crime or terror. They also shared examples of how to overcome these challenges and discussed effective mechanisms and good practices.

FATF Executive Secretary, David Lewis, the Tunisian Minister of Finance, M. Mohamed Ridha Chalghoum, and the Tunisian Governor of the Central Bank and President of the Financial Analysis Committee, M. Marouane El Abassi, opened the event and in their remarks highlighted the importance of the event and thanked the FATF President for this initiative.

The workshop was chaired by the FATF Steering Group member and Head of the Portuguese delegation, Gil Galvao, and consisted of three sessions which covered the contents established for the exercise: challenges and good practices in (1) investigating and prosecuting Money Laundering and (2) Terrorist Financing cases, and (3) seizing and confiscating criminal proceeds and instrumentalities. There were several short panellist expert presentations in each of the sessions, followed by open discussion where expert opinions were given by the participants in three break-out sessions.

FATF Presidency priority and future events

Considering that the work of judges and prosecutors is crucial for consolidating stable and effective institutions, integrity, transparency and the rule of law, which are all pillars of an effective anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing system, the Argentine Presidency of the FATF initiated a global outreach programme to the prosecutorial services and criminal justice systems.

This initiative aims to learn about their experience, challenges and best practices in investigating and prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing, and in confiscating proceeds of crime.

The FATF is bringing together judges and prosecutors from all around the world in a series of regional workshops. Successful workshops were held in Ecuador in September 2017, in China in January 2018 and now in Tunisia. And further workshops will also be held in Strasbourg, France in March together with MONEYVAL and the OSCE and a final one in Busan, Korea in May 2018.

These workshops gather experiences from practitioners on the challenges and difficulties they face while investigating and prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing. This will contribute to improve the effectiveness in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF Presidency will publish a report in June 2018 on the outcomes of this initiative with a focus on the factors that can result in a more effective system for prosecution and confiscation.