The 25th Plenary meeting of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) took place in New Delhi, India, from 7 to 11 November 2016.
The meeting was chaired by Yury Chikhanchin of Russia. Ch. Kenenbaev (Kyrgyzstan) was elected deputy chairman for the period up to November 2017.
In his welcoming speech to the EAG Plenary participants, the Secretary of the Economic Affairs Department of India's Finance Ministry, Das Shaktikanta, highlighted the important role played by FSRBs in the implementation of the FATF standards, noting the Group members' efforts in this area, as well as in improving the effectiveness of the national anti-money laundering systems. India, for example, is currently implementing a range of measures to combat counterfeiting, terrorist financing and corruption. The country's FIU had conducted a study into the commonalities between these crimes, whose findings were endorsed by the Plenary.
Assessments of the counties' reports on progress in improving the national AML/CFT systems feature prominently on the agenda of all Plenary meetings of the Group. At its last meeting, the Plenary voted to remove Belarus from the EAG follow-up process. Meanwhile, representatives of the Russian Federation, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan presented information on the on-going changes in their national AML/CFT legislation.
The Plenary discussed issues related to the fight against terrorist organizations and called on all its members to intensify efforts in this area and speed up the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions. Participants emphasized the importance of close international cooperation, exchange of the best investigative techniques and involvement of subject matter specialists in the teaching process.
Participants showed particular interest in the presentations by the Russian Federation and Kyrgyzstan, dedicated to the use of behaviour profiles to identify individuals involved in the provision of funding to terrorists. In addition, these countries examined the potential for using the FIU's online resources to speed up communication with financial institutions.
The contest for the best example of inter-agency cooperation between government agencies in conducting AML/CFT investigations was held for the fourth time. Participants were presented a total of 4 case studies, three related to terrorist financing and one to drug money laundering. Following a vote, the top prize was awarded to Kazakhstan's FIU, with the second and third places going to the FIUs of Tajikistan and China, respectively.
On the side-lines of the 25th EAG Plenary week, the Eurasian Group, represented by its chairman Yury Chikhanchin, and the CHFIU, represented by the deputy head of Tajikistan's FIU F. Bilolov, signed a protocol on cooperation.
The next EAG Plenary will be held in May 2017 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.