Supporting the fight against financial crime

Laptop with persons hands

The EBRD has organised workshops for compliance officers in Georgia and Tajikistan.

Transnational organised crime generates around US$ 870 billion each year, according to the United Nations – a figure topping the GDP of a country like Turkey.

This has a direct impact on many people’s lives, their security and their countries’ economic, social and political development. That’s why detecting and preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism – in short, cutting criminals’ access to money – has been a main goal of the international effort to fight serious and organised crime.

Combating money laundering and terrorism financing

To support these efforts, the EBRD organised workshops on this theme in Tbilisi, Georgia and in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. More than 50 legal and compliance officers working for various financial institutions attended the event.

Local and overseas experts discussed, reviewed and promoted solutions to the challenges both relevant to those countries, and within a wider international context. A key benefit of the seminars is also the building of partnerships and trust between both private and public sector ‘players’.

Knowing the customer: risk based approaches

Participants learned about the importance of really “knowing your customer” (versus simply filling in checklists), and how to apply a risk-based approach as promoted by the intergovernmental organisation Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The seminar also explained the evolving sanctions regime and the relevant regulations by the UN, FATF, EU and the US and their international and extraterritorial effects.

“Train the trainer” to maximise impact

The event also included ‘train-the-trainer’ sessions to maximise the workshop’s impact and to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the required international standards within their own institutions.

The current series of seminars is part of an EBRD initiative consisting of six workshops in Central Asia, the Western Balkans, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, for which the government of Luxembourg provided funding amounting to €450,000.