Egmont Group Chair issues statement on FIUs misusing their powers when combating money laundering and terrorism financing
The Chair of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units has released a statement on the misuse of FIU powers "pertain(ing) to FIUs limiting or coercing civil society actors for their work and critiques of current governments in their jurisdictions".
Referring to recent cases, the statement goes on to say that "The Egmont Group takes such allegations seriously. Moreover, the Group does not condone such behaviour and firmly opposes any abuse of FIU powers."
Further, "The Egmont Group considers any misuse of FIUs powers for purposes other than those mentioned as contrary to international AML/CFT standards and our organization's spirit. It also erodes the critical role FIUs play as an interface between the private sector and law enforcement authorities....Any abuse of FIU powers compromises trust and is detrimental to the credibility of our global network....The misuse of FIU powers against government opponents can indicate undue influence and interference in FIU operations. When FIUs lack autonomy or operational independence, it undermines the effectiveness of their activities and (inter)national ML/TF investigations and prosecutions. FIUs must have the requisite levels of autonomy and operational independence to ensure the integrity of the information shared between FIUs and their domestic partners. For this reason, the Egmont Group takes any allegations concerning a lack of operational independence and autonomy very seriously."