Financial Intelligence Units

The second gateway is the communication between FIUs who receive and analyze STRs. They then pass this information on to law enforcement and other international FIUs. The Egmont Group is the body of FIUs and has over 100 members. 2003 FATF recommendations include specific recommendations as to setting up and running an FIU.

FIUs need to both recognize the international need for FIUs and also work within their local law enforcement and policy framework, set their own priorities, objectives, within their budgets.

FIUs share information internationally using an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) which allows them to share intelligence (rather than evidence per se). Key principles from the Egmont group:

  • Free exchange of information, on the basis of reciprocity, including spontaneous exchange of information.

  • Definitions of offences that differ among jurisdictions should not be a barrier to information exchange

  • Privacy and confidentiality of the data should be assured

  • Information exchange should be informal and rapid, without red tape, or intermediaries

  • Permission to disseminate to law enforcement should be granted, provided it doesn’t jeopardize a criminal investigation, is disproportionate to the legitimate interests of a person or company in the providing country, or is not in accordance with national law.

  • Requesting countries should follow the Egmont principles:

  • Submit requests for information as soon as the precise need is identified

  • When an FIU has information that could be useful to another FIU is should be shared immediately

  • Communication should be secure (Egmont Secure Web can use used)

  • Use the standard form when requesting information, which includes details of relevant facts

  • Recipients should reply within one week if they have the information, or there is a legal reason why the information can’t be provided. If external parties must be consulted (e.g. Banks) then the reply should be within one month, containing all information obtained to date, and an estimate of when it will be completely filled.

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