The 12th meeting of the Board of the International Network AML/CFT Institute (INI) was held on the margins of the 31st Plenary week of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.
The meeting was attended by Chairman of the Board of the International Network AML/CFT Institute, Director of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service Yury Chikhanchin; Executive Secretary of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) Sergey Teterukov; representative of the Presidential Executive Office Andrei Lavrenko; Chairman of the Financial Monitoring Service under the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan Dovran Khalbaev; Deputy Director of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service Galina Bobrysheva; Minister of Industry and Trade of the Novgorod Region Ilya Malenko; Acting Rector of the Siberian Federal University Maksim Rumyantsev; Rector of the Moscow University of Finance and Law (MFUA) Alexei Zabelin; Director of the Training and Methodology Centre of the State Financial Intelligence Service under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic Bakytbek Alisherov; Director of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Institute of Industrial Management, Economics and Trade Vladimir Shchepinin; Director of Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Institute of Law Oleg Yastrebov; Deputy Director of the Institute of Financial Technologies and Economic Security of the National Research Nuclear University (IFTES NRNU MEPhI) Anna Norkina; Head of the Master's Degree Programme "Financial Monitoring," Associate Professor of the Department of Finance and Credit of Sevastopol State University Irina Kolesova; Head of the Department of Accounting, Analysis and Audit of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University Mukash Israilov; General Director of the International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring Evgeny Legostaev, as well as rectors and representatives of educational and scientific institutions of the International Network AML/CFT Institute.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the Board of the International Network AML/CFT Institute, Director of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service Yury Chikhanchin noted that it had become a tradition for the Board to meet during the Plenary meeting of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism. This is important because EAG meetings are the places where one can find out a lot about the problems faced by national AML/CFT systems, as well as about the challenges the future generation of AML/CFT professionals studying at INI’s universities will be solving.
Yury Chikhanchin drew the attention of the meeting participants to the three near-term objectives of INI’s universities: further research into the theory and methodology of financial monitoring, the creation of INI’s unified electronic resource, and participation of universities in supporting the implementation of major national projects in the area of AML/CFT.
"The first two goals are closely related to international AML/CFT cooperation between both national AML/CFT system stakeholders and FIUs in combating cross-border crime. Strengthening international cooperation in this area is a key condition for economic and financial security of both Eurasian states and the international financial system as a whole. Without training AML/CFT personnel from different countries, capable of understanding each other, speaking the same professional language and engaging in rapid information sharing, we can’t meet this objective.
To facilitate cooperation among all AML/CFT system stakeholders, the International Network AML/CFT Institute should develop the theory and methodology of financial monitoring in order to create contemporary teaching aids for students. The work has already begun. This year, ITMCFM is contributing to the efforts to publish AML/CFT training manuals for joint use by Russia and Kyrgyzstan and Russia and Kazakhstan. But this is not enough. We must also intensify – and figure out a way to do that – the exchange of AML/CFT materials among INI’s universities, a task the INI’s management will undoubtedly look into," said Yury Chikhanchin.
Under the initiative of several countries, FIUs have begun to create a new information sharing system - the International Risk Assessment Centre (IRAC). It is a unified information centre, which will ensure cooperation between FIUs.
A similar web-based system is used by INI’s universities to provide students with remote access to classrooms, workshops, lectures and much more. Everything related to our focus area needs to be assembled in one place, with the part relating to risk assessment integrated into the International Risk Assessment Centre for use by FIUs around the world. This will enable FIUs to achieve an even greater convergence of views on training and practical work in AML/CFT systems.
Yury Chikhanchin suggested the possibility of designating one of the INI’s universities as a backbone university and connecting it, on a pilot basis, to the IRAC, with the rest universities to follow as the volume of information and specialized software increases. It is essential for universities to become interested and join the project.
The third objective faced by INI’s universities is to become involved in the implementation of major national projects as part of AML/CFT support. Today, EAG member states are already involved in the implementation of both large national and interstate projects, with the “One Belt, One Road” initiative being perhaps the best known of them.
"Russia, on the initiative of President Vladimir Putin, is implementing the National Education Project. Who, if not our Russian universities - INI’s participants- should help with its implementation; and universities from partner countries to provide AML/CFT support for their own national and major industry projects, with all of us jointly contributing to the implementation of interstate projects. Just think about it. We will be waiting for your suggestions, which should be submitted as soon as possible," emphasized Yury Chikhanchin.
As part of its mission, the International Network AML/CFT Institute has consolidated efforts to train industry specialists and facilitated the sharing of knowledge, functionality and resources among educational and scientific institutions in order to improve the quality of education and to boost its effectiveness.
INI’s universities offer training courses in the following disciplines: economics, international relations, IT and legal studies, with the latter new discipline being offered by Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Institute of Law, starting this year.
The INI is rightfully considered a pioneer in the implementation of a network-based training programme. And today, 6 years after, we can declare this experience a success. The INI brings together 31 universities and 4 scientific and academic centres from 7 countries.
The INI sees its key future objective in providing conceptual, organizational and analytical resource support for both public authorities and the private sector. Among the forms of regular support offered by INI to national AML/CFT systems is assistance in conducting scientific research, expert work and training of highly qualified specialists.
In his speech, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, First Deputy General Director of the International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring, Director of the International Network AML/CFT Institute, outlined the tasks, which are tackled by the INI’s AML/CFT departments today, and which are aimed at creating EAG unified international learning space in the AML/CFT systems. They include organization and conduct of scientific AML/CFT research; international double diploma programmes; academic mobility and teacher/student exchange programmes; joint inter-university AML/CFT conferences, workshops and round tables (including via video conference); financial literacy and legal compliance of the population with AML/CFT requirements; as well as publishing activities.
The International Network AML/CFT Institute carries out its scientific research in collaboration with RAS researchers from FIAN, CEMI, IMEMO, ISPR and ILCL in the framework of the integrated research programme (IRP) "Mathematical and Socio-Economic Modelling for AML/CFT Purposes," the RAS Board's fundamental research programme "Financial and Legal Mechanisms for Ensuring the Transparency of Business," and the programme "Fundamental Research on Economic Security." RAS institutes have 5 AML/CFT research laboratories employing 60 scientific researchers.
There is a steady increase in the number of AML/CFT students in INI’s universities. In Russia alone, AML/CFT courses are attended by over 500 foreign students from 29 countries and more than 4,000 Russian students. The number of foreign students could have been even greater if the EAG states took full advantage of the student quotas for graduate and post-graduate programmes offered by Russian universities. "Given the EAG status as the biggest employer of INI’s graduates, it's essential for us to strengthen our cooperation with the EAG and its Secretariat even further," said V. Ovchinnikov.
The INI is active in publishing. Among its publications are the Financial Security journal, textbook Financial Monitoring, and training manuals The Specifics of National AML/CFT Systems in Eurasia (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) and Financial Monitoring in Credit Institutions to Identify Shadow Schemes, monographs Crypto Security of Cryptocurrencies, Developing AML/CFT Cooperation between the Bank of Russia and Non-Credit Financial Institutions, Models and Methods for Solving the Analytical Challenges of Financial Monitoring, etc.
In conclusion, the director of the International Network AML/CFT Institute outlined the INI's objectives, which include "international promotion of INI at the FATF, FSRBs, Egmont Group, UN and the OSCE; building cooperation with European universities and AML/CFT training centres of the EAG member states, Indonesia, Qatar and other countries; as well as integration of the INI's scientific and educational potential in information sharing system with other countries."
Participants of the INI’s Board meeting shared AML/CFT training and research experiences and made proposals for the development of new AML/CFT training programmes, projects and manuals.
Following the meeting, it was decided to continue the efforts to update, prepare and publish new AML/CFT guidelines and research papers in order to develop a common theory and methodology of financial monitoring for national AML/CFT systems in Eurasia, as well as to create a unified methodological framework for AML/CFT training and educational process.
Participants pledged to create a unified training framework (e-course) for the integration of the scientific and educational potential of INI’s universities (textbooks, diploma and course papers, tests and other assessment tools, teaching technologies and training methods and techniques) in the newly established International Risk Assessment Centre in order to promote unified information sharing system, build communication channels among experts, teachers and researchers, as well as organize online lectures and webinars.
Universities of the International Network AML/CFT Institutes were urged to participate in national and interstate programmes and projects which are implemented in EAG member states in order to promote the integration of scientific research, course and graduation papers, and training manuals of the INI’s universities.
The meeting participants expressed their intention to continue the development of joint AML/CFT e-courses taking into consideration national specificity of each country; develop model themes of main sector-specific AML/CFT/PF disciplines required for the implementation of common approaches to the training of specialists in Eurasia; promote the practice of double diploma programmes; as well as to support the efforts of scientific institutes and centres to research the risks associated with cryptocurrency transactions and to rebuild the global financial framework with account for ML/TF/PF risks.
The International Network AML/CFT Institute accepted new members: the Academy of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University.
In conclusion, the meeting participants decided to hold an educational forum for the teaching staff of the INI’s universities.