15th meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of Financial Intelligence Units

Published At Jul 8, 2020

The 15th meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of Financial Intelligence Units (CHFIU) was held on July 8, 2020, chaired by Director of Rosfinmonitoring Yu. Chikhanchin. The event was remotely attended by all members of the CIS CHFIU (Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Uzbekistan) as well as representatives of the CIS Executive Committee, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Organized Crime Control Coordination Bureau, the CIS Anti-Terrorist Center (CIS ATC), the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG), and the International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring (ITMCFM).

In his welcome speech, Director of Rosfinmonitoring Yu. Chikhanchin pointed out that the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic has forced everybody to adapt to the new circumstances and look for alternative ways to continue work:

“The situation demonstrates that only through friendship and mutual assistance we can overcome global challenges and threats. Our meeting at the level of heads of financial intelligence units of CIS member states presents a unique opportunity to build relationships in the area of the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”

The director of the Russian financial intelligence unit emphasized that the growing number of crimes in the IT industry is a prime example of the new challenges and threats, which underscores the relevance of continued efforts to develop solutions for prompt information exchange among CIS member states as well as to promote the initiative of the Russian Federation as part of the project on establishment of the International ML/TF Risk Assessment Center (IRAC).

A. Druzhinin, Director of the Department at the CIS Executive Committee, reminded in his speech that even in the challenging circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic partners have managed to maintain sustainable contacts owing to the communication system which had been created previously. This includes cooperation in matters related to actual practical efforts aimed at search and detention of offenders.

The meeting heard a report on the implementation in 2019 of activities of the 2019-2023 International Program of Joint Efforts to Fight Crime.

It has been pointed out that the CHFIU jointly with the CIS ATC have detected financial transactions carried out by a number of individuals placed on the international wanted list in connection with terrorist crimes. This has been accomplished as part of the implementation of activities of the “Barrier” international operation aimed at identification of individuals involved in the activities of international terrorist organizations as well as their financial and ideological centers.

The COVID-19 pandemic announced in March 2020, which has swept almost all continents of the world, including CIS member states, has resulted in a series of interconnected changes in social, economic, and criminal areas, and has also had an impact on terrorist activity. In light of the situation and its consequences, every CIS member state looked into the possibility of expanding activities of the operation.

Efforts continue to maintain and develop cooperation with international organizations and their respective specialized entities: a Cooperation Protocol was signed between the CHFIU and the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

For the purpose of exploring and researching the ongoing processes, identifying existing trends, formulating organizational and practical proposals on ways to improve international collaboration, research work and studies on relevant issues concerning the fight against cross-border crime were conducted, including in the context of CHFIU activities, as part of a study “Special aspects of cross-border schemes of payments for drugs and legalization of proceeds gained from drug trafficking with the use of modern payment instruments”.

The practice of active cooperation among the competent authorities of CIS member states continues in the context of staff joint training, professional development training, and retraining, including at the basic institution—the International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring.

The meeting summarized the findings of an analytical study related to the turnover of cryptoassets in the territory of CHFIU member states, which was undertaken by the financial intelligence unit of Uzbekistan jointly with the International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring. The goal of this work is to collect and consolidate normative legal acts and best practices of legal regulation of the virtual assets turnover (regulatory documents, typologies reports, translations of FATF guidelines, etc.) followed by the creation of an electronic thematic resource (Library) on the website of the International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring.

The Russian side also presented new solutions in the area of monitoring cryptocurrency-related criminal behavior.

One of the promising projects in the CIS space involves setting up Information Exchange System among Financial Intelligence Units of CIS Member States, “SyNerGy”. The project has been implemented since 2018. The work is underway to draft regulations that govern information sharing process with the use of this system.

The following meeting of the Council will take place in Tashkent (Republic of Uzbekistan) in the fall of this year subject to favorable epidemiological situation.