Multilateral Organizations and Programs

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
March 1, 2010

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and FATF-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs­)


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF was created in 1989 and works to generate legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. The FATF currently has 35 members, comprising 33 member countries and territories and two regional organizations, as follows: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peoples Republic of China, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States, the European Commission and the Gulf Cooperation Council. FATF admitted The Republic of Korea in October 2009.


There are also a number of FATF-style regional bodies that, in conjunction with the FATF, constitute an affiliated global network to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.


The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)


The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) was officially established in February 1997 at the Fourth (and last) Asia/Pacific Money Laundering Symposium in Bangkok as an autonomous regional anti-money laundering body. The 40 APG members are as follows: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, People’s Republic of China, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, United States, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.


The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)


The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) was established in 1992. CFATF has 30 members: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, and Venezuela.


The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL)


The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) was established in 1997 under the acronym PC-R-EV. MONEYVAL is comprised of 28 permanent members, two temporary, rotating members and one active observer. The permanent members are Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Ukraine. The active observer is Israel. Temporary members, designated by the FATF for a two-year membership, are currently Austria and the United Kingdom.


The Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG)


The Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) was established in 1999. Fourteen countries comprise its membership: Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


The Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG)


The Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) was established on October 6, 2004, and has seven members: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.


The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD)


The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD) was formally established in December 2000 by the ten member states of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.


Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA)


The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) was formally established in 1999. GIABA consists of 15 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.


The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)


The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) was formally established in November 2004. MENAFATF has 18 members: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.


The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units

The Egmont Group began in 1995 as a collection of a small handful of national entities—today referred to as financial intelligence units (FIUs)—seeking to explore ways to cooperate internationally among themselves. The goal of the Egmont Group is to provide a forum for FIUs around the world to improve support to their respective governments in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. This support includes expanding and systematizing the exchange of financial intelligence, improving expertise and capabilities of personnel employed by such organizations, and fostering better and more secure communication among FIUs through the application of technology.


To meet the standards of Egmont membership, an FIU must be a centralized unit within a nation or jurisdiction established to detect criminal financial activity and ensure adherence to laws against financial crimes, including terrorist financing and money laundering. Today the FIU concept is an important component of the international community’s approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The Egmont Group has grown dramatically from 14 units in 1995 to a recognized membership of 116 FIUs in 2009.


In 2008-2009, the Egmont Group sought to deepen its relationships with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs). For example, the Egmont regional representatives and several of the FSRBs agreed to work together on issues involving FIUs in Africa. Nine FIUs joined the Egmont Group in 2009, representing the following jurisdictions: Fiji, Kyrgyz Republic, Macao, Malawi, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and St. Lucia.


The Egmont Group is organizationally structured to meet the challenges of the large membership and its workload. The Egmont Committee, a group of 15 members, is an intermediary group between the 116 heads of member FIUs and the Egmont working groups. This Committee addresses the administrative and operational issues facing the Egmont Group. In addition to the Committee, there are five working groups: legal, operational, training, information technology, and outreach. The Egmont Group’s secure Internet system permits members to communicate with one another via secure e-mail, requesting and sharing case information as well as posting and assessing information on typologies, analytical tools and technological developments.


In December 2008, the Egmont Group expelled Bolivia’s FIU from its membership, due to a lack of terrorism financing legislation in Bolivian law. To regain Egmont membership, Bolivia must reapply and provide written evidence of its FIU’s compliance with Egmont FIU definitions and requirements. In 2009, the remaining 116 members of the Egmont Group are Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guernsey, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Turks and Caicos, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu, and Venezuela.


The Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD) Group of Experts to Control Money Laundering

The Organization of American States, through its Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD), is responsible for combating illicit drugs and related crimes, including money laundering. In 2009, CICAD continued to carry out its activities in anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. CICAD’s AML/CFT training programs seek to improve and enhance the knowledge and capabilities of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement agents, and financial intelligence unit (FIU) analysts. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) provided full or partial funding for many of the CICAD training programs in 2009.

Achievements in 2009

CICAD tailors most of its projects for specific beneficiaries, but in 2009 several initiatives ended up having broad, regional impact, surpassing their original objectives. The Latin American program for the Management of Seized and Forfeited Assets (BIDAL, from the Spanish acronym) project stirred interest across the region. Also, a subregional workshop in Costa Rica to encourage legislation on the financing of terrorism, opened up a process of horizontal cooperation, boosted the momentum of legislative initiatives, and encouraged the development of follow-up missions and specialized technical assistance.

Given the interest stirred by program activities, CICAD had to redesign and reprogram projects, broadening them to a more regional scope, to include organizations and officials of other countries. CICAD’s specialized training also reached more senior officials, whose extensive experience and professional competence increased the impact of CICAD’s efforts. Another sign of partner support was the significant contributions of host countries to holding training events, allowing the Section to maximize the use of its funding.

Expert Group to Control Money Laundering: This technical advisory group, comprised of subject matter experts from member states, held a session in May in Washington, DC, and a second in September in Montevideo. At each meeting, one task force (BIDAL) focused on synthesizing work done on seized and forfeited assets while a second dealt with improving the interaction, integration and cooperation of financial intelligence units (FIUs) and law enforcement agencies.

The main objective of the BIDAL task force was to provide technical assistance to member states to develop, implement and strengthen entities responsible for the administration of seized assets. It produced a Manual of Best Practices and guidelines as well as recommendations for specialized training, drawing on the experience acquired in the three pilot project countries (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay). It also drafted an amendment to the Model Legislation on Money Laundering Offenses connected to Illicit Drug Trafficking and other serious offenses, which was approved by the full Commission in December.

The FIU task force began collecting information for a diagnostic document that would describe the investigative interplay between the FIUs and law enforcement agencies in the Hemisphere, outline the legal frameworks that establish and regulate their relationships, and capture good practices and recommendations for this type of collaboration. FIUs have existed for less than a decade in the Americas and are just beginning to work more closely with more traditional law enforcement agencies and court systems.

Seized and Forfeited Assets: Building on the work in the Expert Group, CICAD concluded the pilot phase of the BIDAL Project that had gotten underway in the three countries in 2008. Each country set up inter-institutional working groups for drafting and following through on recommendations based on overall assessments made previously in each country, paying close attention to operational bottlenecks, friction between the legal framework in theory and the actual practice on the ground, and financial management of resources.

As part of the BIDAL project, two hybrid seminars, part specialized training, part experience exchanges, were held with the support of the Secretariat of State Security of the Ministry of Interior of Spain. A meeting in Buenos Aires focused on a mid-point evaluation of the pilot countries, with 60 participants. A second seminar in Lima drew 25 experts from the pilot project countries, plus Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, and served to expand the project’s application in the region.

Training: CICAD and the Narcotics Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Lima developed a comprehensive training program for judges, prosecutors, public defenders, banking compliance officers and FIU financial analysts on the techniques and tools of investigating and prosecuting money laundering. Within this program (eight training events for 184 participants), workshops were held for judges on special techniques of investigation, circumstantial evidence, and on analysis of financial links and relationships and special investigation techniques. In the second half of 2009, the initiative focused on training officials located outside of the capital.

Together with the UNODC and Inter-American Development Bank, CICAD organized mock trials in Brazil (52 participants), Nicaragua (120) and Panama (110). CICAD also held a course for prosecutors on legal theory in investigation and prosecution of money laundering cases (32), and a workshop on the analysis of financial links and relationships in Guatemala (19).

In February 2009, with Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the OAS and UNODC participation, a workshop on the financing of terrorism took place in San José. It centered on a mock investigation of a case of terrorist financing with the goal of strengthening the investigative skills of the participants as well as the requisite cooperation among law enforcement agencies. Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras and Paraguay sent 27 participants.

In 2009, CICAD’s training programs reached a total of 609 participants in 16 events.

Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Program (PALP)

The Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Program (PALP) is a joint initiative between the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the U.S. Department of State. The PALP was conceived by and is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The PALP is a regional technical assistance and training program designed to assist the 14 members of the Pacific Islands Forum that are not also members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in establishing, implementing and strengthening their anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) regimes. The 14 members of the Pacific Islands Forum that receive PALP assistance are the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The PALP is coordinated and managed by the UNODC Global Program against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML).

The PALP uses resident in-country mentors and intermittent mentors who visit participating jurisdictions to provide tailor-made advice and assistance on establishing viable AML/CFT regimes, including assistance with legal, law enforcement, regulatory, and financial intelligence unit (FIU) development.

In 2009, the PALP continued to provide assistance on a wide range of AML/CFT issues, including legislative drafting, capacity building, and very importantly, case support. During 2009 a number of jurisdictions commenced their fist money laundering investigations with advice and coaching from the PALP mentors. Regional and bilateral training was also conducted for prosecutors, customs officers and law enforcement officials.

The PALP works in close cooperation with the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), a FATF-style regional body, in order to coordinate delivery of technical assistance and training to jurisdictions that are both APG members and PALP participants. Case support for money laundering investigations in a number of jurisdictions was a priority for the PALP in 2009. Mentoring investigators and prosecutors is an effective way to ensure the new knowledge and skills gained through attendance at formal training events is put into operation. Coaching by the PALP mentors builds confidence within officials who are charged with undertaking money laundering investigations and prosecutions. PALP also delivers regional, sub-regional, and national training courses designed to give police investigators, customs officers, prosecutors, FIU staff, and regulators the knowledge and skills they need to identify, investigate, and prosecute money laundering and terrorist financing cases.

United Nations Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime, and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML)

The United Nations is one of the most experienced global providers of anti-money laundering (AML) training and technical assistance and, since 9-11, counter-terrorist financing (CFTT) training and technical assistance. The United Nations Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML), part of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was established in 1997 to assist member states to comply with the UN Conventions and other instruments that deal with money laundering and terrorist financing. These now include the United Nations Convention against Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (the 1988 Vienna Convention), the United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (the 1999 Convention), the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the 2000 Palermo Convention), and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (the 2003 Merida Convention).

In March 2008, the Programme’s scope and objectives were widened to meet the growing needs and demands of the international community for tailor-made assistance in the effective implementation of these UN instruments and other international anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) standards and to use AML/CFT systems as effective tools to achieve better financial transparency, integrity and good governance.

The GPML elaborated an ambitious program to make international action against the proceeds of crime and illegal financial flows more effective. This is done through a wide range of technical assistance measures and in close partnership with regional or multilateral organizations. GPML provides technical assistance and training in the development of related legislation, infrastructure and skills, directly assisting member states in the detection, seizure, and confiscation of illicit proceeds. GPML also now incorporates a focus on counter-terrorist financing in all its technical assistance work, in particular its financial investigations and financial analysis training tools. In 2009, GPML provided training and long-term assistance in the development of viable AML/CFT regimes to more than 50 countries.

The Mentoring Program

GPML’s Mentor Program is one of the most successful and well-known activities of international AML/CFT technical assistance and training, and is increasingly serving as a model for other organizations’ initiatives. It is one of the core activities of the GPML technical assistance program and is highly regarded by the AML/CFT community. The GPML Mentoring Program provides targeted on-the-job training that adapts international standards to specific local/national situations, rather than the traditional training seminar. The concept originated in response to repeated requests from member states for longer-term international assistance in this technically demanding and rapidly evolving field. GPML provides experienced prosecutors and law enforcement personnel who work side-by-side with their counterparts in a target country for several months at a time on daily operational matters to help develop capacity.

Mentoring and FIUs

GPML mentors worked extensively on the development and implementation phases of FIUs in several countries in the Eastern Caribbean; Western, Southern and Eastern Africa; the Pacific; Central Asia; and, in the Mekong region. A major initiative that could have global implications for many FIUs is the development by the UNODC Information Technology Service (ITS), with substantive inputs from GPML, of an analytical and integrated database and intelligence analysis system for operational deployment in FIUs, called goAML ( It is an IT solution for FIUs to manage their activities, particularly data collection, analysis, and dissemination. GPML also developed a Financial Intelligence Unit Analyst Course, designed for FIU analysts, the purpose of which is to develop their knowledge and skills in the analysis process and the development of financial intelligence.

Other GPML Initiatives

In 2009, on the same principle as the FIU Analyst Course, GPML also developed a Financial Investigation Course that aims to provide an opportunity for investigators to develop their knowledge and skills in financial investigation and to raise awareness of terrorist financing and money-laundering methods. This national course has a practical focus and is designed upon the legal and procedural processes in the country receiving the training. GPML also contributed to the delivery of mock trials. This tailor-made activity was developed in response to repeated requests from member states for practical realistic AML training. It combines training and practical aspects of the judicial work into one capacity building exercise.

As part of the UNODC Rainbow Strategy, which aims to reduce the supply, trafficking, and consumption of opiates in Afghanistan and neighboring countries, GPML has led a new initiative on “Financial flows to and from Afghanistan linked to the illicit drug production and trafficking” since January 2008. An action plan and related timeline has been developed. In September 2007, UNODC and the World Bank launched the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative aimed at assisting developing countries to recover stolen assets that have been sent abroad by corrupt leaders.

In 2009, GPML, in a collaborative effort with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), finalized the revision of model legal provisions on AML/CFT and proceeds of crime for common law countries, encompassing worldwide AML/CFT standards and taking into account best legal practices.

GPML administers the Anti-Money Laundering International Database (AMLID) on the International Money Laundering Information Network (IMoLIN), an online, password-restricted, analytical database of national AML/CFT legislation that is available only to public officials. The database now contains legislation from some 181 jurisdictions. GPML also maintains an online AML/CFT legal library and issues a Central Asia Newsletter monthly in English and quarterly in Russian, as well as a West Africa Newsletter in English/French. IMoLIN ( is a practical tool in daily use by government officials, law enforcement, and lawyers. GPML manages and constantly updates this database on behalf of the UN and 11 major international partners in the field of AML/CFT. The updated AMLID questionnaire reflects new money laundering trends and standards, and takes provisions related to terrorist financing and other new developments into account, including the revised FATF recommendations.