Combat money laundering taught by Swedish specialists

Two economic crime investigators from Sweden recently taught colleagues from over 90 countries the basics of money laundering techniques at a workshop held at the UN regional headquarters in Bangkok. A third Swedish officer took part as a student.
     “Teaching the basics was our goal with this session. The participants were for example taught how to assemble information, legal issues and various ways to report findings. Another topic at the conference, taught by experts from Israel and the US, were how to detect and combat terrorist funding,” says Mr Stefan Lundberg, one of the Swedish investigators visiting Bangkok.
     He had the main responsibility to coordinate the training in Bangkok, together with other Egmont members, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Program Money Laundering from Vienna and AMLO, the Anti Money Laundering Organisation in Thailand.
     “We belong to a training group which provides police education in various levels of money laundering within the framework of Egmont as well as for police officers from countries that have not yet joined our organization,” continues Stefan Lundberg.
     Egmont group was set up 9 June 1995, at the Egmont-Arenberg palace in Brussels, to counter international money laundering by tighter cooperation between financial intelligence units, provide training to investigators and structured and secure exchange of sensitive and classified information.
     Sweden joined Egmont from the outset. Thailand is a member as well but several other Southeast Asian countries, for example Cambodia and the Philippines, where criminals from Scandinavia are known to hide, have not yet joined Egmont.
     AMLO has entered memorandum of understandings, mou, with several countries. In the Nordic region only Finland has a mou with AMLO. Why not Sweden?
     “We do indeed cooperate with AMLO already but they demand a mou with Sweden to share information with us, Sweden’s government is however not keen to sign bilateral treaties. If we had a treaty, the head of AMLO can decide instantly on his own whether to share case information with us, without consulting any other Thai law enforcement agency. There are other means for us to ask for such data in Thailand but they are time consuming and take months to proceed.”
     How does this obstacle affect your ability to fight Swedes, suspected of money laundering, living in Thailand?
     “Well, we simply grope in the dark,” says Stefan Lundberg.

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