Gafisud

Cooperation

A peculiarity of GAFILAT´s is that it is acting "in the system". That is to say that not only does it deal with the political aspect of communication of the 40 Recommendations, but it also deals with cooperation measures.


 
RRAG

The Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT), according with the mandate provided by its member States, and in order to meet the objective of fostering the continuous improvement of the policies to counter money laundering, terrorist financing and predicate crimes, has a relevant effort in recovering assets that are product of illicit activities. That is why the tolos that enable to monitor, seize and forfeit said assets are of the outmost importance in order to diminish the economic potential or criminal organizations, and thus discourage criminal activities.
 
Through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and with the support of the Inter American Commission for the Control of Drug Abuse (CICAD/OAS), INTERPOL, and the Executive Secretariat of GAFILAT, a regional platform generated by the latter was proposed to create and develop a regional focal point network named “Red de Recuperación de Activos de GAFILAT (GAFILAT Asset Recovery Network, RRAG)” with the purpose of facilitating the identification and localization of assets, with the intent of recovering such assets, products or instruments of ilegal activities, through the contact of the focal points appointed by each member State.

Among the objectives and commitments assumed by the focal points, the network shall consolidate as a center for expertise in all aspects related to pursuing the assets product of criminal activities, to promote the Exchange of information and to act as an advisory body to the competent national authorities; to counsel, facilitate mutual legal assistance and, spontaneously and unilaterally, share good practices, know-how and expertise; as well as to provide feedback to collaborate with relevant investigations.

Since October 2010, RRAG has al electronic platform for the secure Exchange of information, which is located and maintained by the Financial Intelligence Unit of Costa Rica.
 
Focal points are currently appointed for all GAFILAT member countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú y Uruguay), as well as two observer countries to GAFILAT: France and Spain. Most of the focal points are either pólice oficers or public prosecutors.



Cross-border transport control

Since 2008, and approximately every six months, as a practical measure for the implementation of Recommendation 32 (former RE IX) - cross-border control of money and valuables is being performed in airports and surface frontier areas by competent authorities of member countries, under the coordination of the Operational Support Working Group.



MoU

 Another measure to strengthen multilateral cooperation is the drafting and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between all GAFILAT´s FIUs.



Information exchange

Likewise, we are working on regional politically exposed persons (PEPs), mutual legal assistance and interchange of information among financial supervisors.



Technical assistance projects

As of early 2010, GAFILAT has been implementing two technical assistance projects; one of them connected to the DNFBPs (Designated Non-financial Businesses and Professions) and the other one, the non banking financial sector.

It is an important step, as it marks the beginning of the development of an area of technical assistance projects in the organization, which, we understand, is a necessary complement to strengthen the activities of the prevention systems developed so far.

Conceptual context Mutual Evaluations have, no doubt, been the core to GAFILAT performance, just like the other regional groups and FATF itself.

However, the evaluations have not been, nor cannot be, an objective by themselves, the objective is the transformation of the national realities promoting, just as its Constituent Memorandum puts it, "a comprehensive and coordinated response to the regional governments ... in order to preserve and maintain social, economic and political stability in our region".

Just as one works to improve the evaluation process, and therefore, its results, they must be, in turn, the starting point for a new work to strengthen the preventive systems properly, responding to the weaknesses detected, particularly those that reflect the existence of common problems and to promote initiatives to attack these weaknesses detected in a more efficient way.

So, it is also necessary, to make a risk based analysis, to set priorities, and to define mid- and long term plans.



DNFBP Project

Between 2007 and 2009, and by means of an agreement signed with the Federal Republic of Germany and InWent Agency , GAFILAT developed a training programme to promote strategies to improve the prevention system against ML and TF in the sector.

Once this process was over, the technical cooperation relationship with the German government was closer and through their Development and Technical cooperation Ministry, the "Strengthening of the prevention system in the DNFBP sector" came into being and its execution started in January 2010 with a two year term that could be extended.

A deep analysis of the legislation in force was made in 2010 in all member countries and Spain in connection with the DNFBPs.

As a result of a survey of member countries, a GAFILAT Regional typologies compendium was drafted- designated non financial businesses and professions.

2011 saw an analysis of the regional risk of money laundering and terrorist financing through DNFBPs

The results of all the studies ended up in a document of Best Practices for compliance with the Recommendations considering the regional reality.

The future approach to the project will consist of bilateral training and advisory.



GAFILAT-UE Project

In December 2009, an agreement was signed between GAFILAT and the European Union to develop a sub-project "Support to the fight against money laundering in the Latin America and the Caribbean countries", in the frame of the global action fostered by the European Union to combat organized crime in the cocaine route.

The objective of the first stage was to support the fight against money laundering in the non banking financial sector, in a 24 month term, later extended for 12 additional months.

In 2011 a specific study a four sub-sectors was carried out: Exchange Market, Remittance, Transport of Securities and other Non Banking Financial or Credit Agents). In 2012, the work will focus in the Stock Market, credit cards, and new payment methods (telephone and internet banking and prepaid cards).

Much training has been carried out during these years (two regional typology seminars, two evaluator seminars, two advanced evaluator seminars and one prevention of money laundering workshop in the transport of valuables sub-sector) and finally, it is expected to draft a regional risk analysis of money laundering through non banking financial activities.

The agreement for the development of a second stage was signed in December 2011. It consists of four convergent objectives:

• To strengthen the money laundering investigation processes in GAFILAT member countries
• To promote coordination amongst the national actors in the investigation and criminalization of money laundering cases
• To strengthen cooperation among GAFILAT countries at the administrative, police and legal level
• To promote cooperation in those levels with other FATF style regional bodies (like GAFIC and GIABA) and their member countries.

For more information on the objectives and activities of the Project, click here.