International experts discussed issues of countering the financing of terrorist activities
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 13-14 November 2023, a regional consultation was held at the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the topic: “Countering the use of cryptocurrencies to finance terrorism.”
The organizers of this event were the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT), the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (EAG), the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation, the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, the State Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Institute strategic and interregional studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The purpose of the event was to raise awareness and prepare recommendations for EAG member states on countering the use of virtual assets to finance terrorist activities.
The consultations were attended by specialists from law enforcement and judicial authorities, financial intelligence agencies from the countries of Central Asia, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of India.
Leading experts from the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, EAG, Interpol, OSCE, RATS SCO and ATC CIS, as well as representatives of the private sector, were invited as lecturers.
During the event, it was noted that the national obligations of all member states to combat the financing of terrorism are set out in relevant international documents, including the relevant UN Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2014), International the Terrorist Financing Convention and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations. These documents recommend that governments improve monitoring of financial flows, freeze terrorist assets, and identify and reduce the risks of misuse of illicit financial funds.
The speakers emphasized that in order to increase the effectiveness of efforts to combat the financing of terrorism, countries must actively exchange information at the level of financial intelligence services, as well as increase coordination between the public and private sectors.
It was noted that while cash payments and hawala transfers remain the predominant methods used by terrorists to move funds, there has been an increase in the use of new tools to carry out illicit transactions. In particular, mobile payment systems, virtual assets (including bitcoins and lesser-known cryptocurrencies), and online exchanges and wallets began to be actively used in criminal activities. This is largely due to the difficulty of tracking cryptocurrencies by states, their anonymity and the impossibility of determining the direction of cash flow.
In this regard, within the framework of the UNOCT program to detect, prevent and combat the financing of terrorism, which was launched in 2020, participating states are provided with comprehensive methodological support, including work with virtual assets.