Course report: Money laundering

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16 May 2013

Italy hosted CEPOL course 26/2013 “Money Laundering” on 14-19 April 2013. The activity was held in Rome’s Inter-agency College for Advanced Studies, the “Scuola di Perfezionamento per le Forze di Polizia”.

The course was organized based on the Common Curriculum on “Money Laundering” recently updated by an “ad hoc working group” led by an Italian expert. At the helm of this training activity was the Guardia di Finanza, Italy’s police corps specialized in financial and economic crimes. Absolutely essential to the success of the course were the contributions received from the European Union Agencies Europol and Eurojust and the support of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania.

Participants were in Rome as representatives of 25 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and Iceland.

The fight against money laundering is a priority set both by the Stockholm Programme and Europol’s SOCTA report. The underlying theme of the course was how to improve the police cooperation against these relevant threats to world economies and, in a broader sense, to the fundamentals of democratic states.

Col. Fabrizio Crisostomi, the coordinator of the event from the Guardia di Finanza Headquarters, presented his opening speech on the activity of the Guardia di Finanza in the fight against Money Laundering, the national legislation and practical measures.

Experts’ presentations from Europol and Eurojust were highly appreciated by all of the participants, especially the very interesting case studies presented by Europol. In fact many case studies have been presented too during the course, such as the one on the relation between money laundering and VAT frauds.

During the following days high level lecturers took the floor. Prof. Michele Riccardi, University of Milan’s Cattolica University and Transcrime (Joint Research Centre on Transnational Crime) discussed “The identification of beneficial owners in the fight against money laundering” and the results of the EU project on “The mafia investments” whilst the Head of Unit within the Italian Treasury Department lectured about “The role of the Financial Action Task Force” with his presentation.

Participants actively took part in the afternoons in case studies, working group activities and two study visits. The first was to the Nucleo Speciale Polizia Valutaria of the Guardia di Finanza and the second to the Central Bank of Italy, within is locates the Italian Financial Investigation Unit.

Very important was the support of the experts of Bulgaria and Romania, that underlined the strategies of organisation and investigations in the fight against Money Laundering in their countries, and the expert of Greece explained the international institutions and instruments for mutual cooperation.

The expert of Hungary found very interesting the course and proposed his country as supporter for the activities of next year.

The Italian CEPOL Unit concluded with satisfaction the activities related to the course, but money laundering is still their great job: they are involved in the “Money Laundering on-line module” CEPOL working group and in the application of the contents of the Common Curriculum on Money Laundering at the national level.

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