The Director of the Gibraltar Financial Intelligence Unit (GFIU), Edgar Lopez, has attended the 28th Annual Egmont Group Plenary, hosted by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Latvia, between the 10th and 15th of July 2022. The event was the first in-person Plenary after Covid-19 pandemic restrictions had been lifted. With over 320 representatives from FIUs across the world, Heads of FIUs and other experts in financial crime met in Riga, Latvia, to discuss operational and strategic matters that help protect global financial institutions from criminal abuse and improve collaboration to exchange information.
This year’s Plenary theme focused on New Ways to Drive FIU Effectiveness in a Risk-Based Environment. The discussions were designed to generate debate on best practices by FIUs and produce tangible take-home results that provide Heads of FIUs innovative ways in which to improve effectiveness. These discussions were based on three sessions:
- Multilateral Information Sharing
- Ways to Set Effective Priorities in Domestic and International Cooperation
- Ways to Enhance the Role of the FIU in the Domestic AML/CFT System
“As a member of the Egmont Group, we are committed to its principles, values and strategic direction. This global body is an effective way of sharing and exchanging financial intelligence, therefore, the opportunity to meet in-person with other FIUs serves to foster trust and strengthen international working relationships. The GFIU has made significant progress in a number of specialised areas over the last few years and given the nature of transnational organised crime it is important that we continue to participate in these events”, said Mr Lopez.
He added, “We pride ourselves in effective and timely international cooperation supporting FIUs and law enforcement agencies. Placing Gibraltar on a global stage such as Egmont is in our jurisdiction’s best interests.”
Minister for Justice, Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “HM Government of Gibraltar acknowledges the outstanding work that the GFIU produces with transformative and innovative ideas. We also recognise their tremendous efforts and impact that their dedication and collaboration has in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing at a domestic and international level. Indeed, the progress that this unit has made has also been noted internationally”.
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units is an international body of FIUs from 166 jurisdictions. It provides FIUs with a platform to securely exchange expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and associated predicate crimes.
The GFIU has been a member since 2004, and it exchanges information regularly with its foreign counterparts. In 2021, the GFIU disseminated over 500 spontaneous intelligence reports to other FIUs and received just under 100 requests for information through the Egmont Secure Web.