World Customs Organisation steps up fight against illicit financial flows

The Acting Controller of the unit, Deputy Comptroller Usman Yahaya, Acting Controller of Federal Operation Unit, Ikeja, Nigeria Customs Service supervising the destruction of poultry products worth of N20,678,400 recently seized by the Unit, in Lagos.

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) has stepped up the fight against illicit financial flows globally by launching a publication the ‘’Customs-FIU Cooperative Handbook.’’

The publication is as a result of collaborative effort between the WCO and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and the WCO.

The main objective of the Handbook, according to WCO statement, is to further promote cooperation between Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and Customs services to effectively disrupt cross-border money laundering and terrorism financing activities.

“The WCO is pleased to launch the Customs-FIU Cooperation Handbook as both a reference document and as a tool for Customs and FIUs in the fight against money laundering activities,” said WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya.

Mikuriya added that “Illicit financial flows are a growing threat to both global security and the integrity of the global financial system. Customs administrations and the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) are uniquely placed to counter the concealed physical cross-border transportation of currency, Bearer Negotiable Instruments and currency equivalents in large volumes, as well as trade-based money laundering activities that are being orchestrated by transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups.”

According to the interim Chair of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, Ms. Hennie Verbeek-Kusters, “When we join efforts we can add more value in the fight against money laundering, its predicate offences, including serious organized crime, and terrorist financing. I hope this handbook will lead to even better cooperation within the AML/CFT landscape. I would like to thank all from the WCO and EG who contributed to this important work.”

The Handbook highlights common anti-money laundering challenges and provides recommendations to Customs services and FIUs on topics including: smuggling and concealment of currency, currency equivalents, gems and precious metals; trade-based money laundering and; money or value transfer systems and alternative remittance systems.

The “Customs – FIU Cooperation Handbook,” which is the first handbook to focus on improving Customs-FIU operational and strategic cooperation, was developed by a team of experts from the Egmont Group’s Information Exchange Working Group and the WCO.

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