EU helps BiH in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing

More than 20 representatives of police, courts and prosecutor’s offices gathered in Sarajevo on 4-5 June for a two-day training on combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

The training, organised within the EU-funded twinning project „Support to the fight against money laundering”, was an opportunity for the participants to exchange experiences and learn how to identify and control money laundering and terrorism financing in accordance with European standards.

Head of the Rule of Law Section at the Office of the EU Special Representative in BiH Richard Wood  said that BiH has achieved  some good results so far in this field,  but underlined that further joint work needs to be done to better fight against money laundering and financing of terrorist activities. He emphasised the EU commitment to help BiH in this fight. “This twinning project will increase the competences of the institutions of BiH to better fight against money laundering up to the level required for EU accession. It will assist in improving legislation, capacities and skills of relevant bodies, institutions and agencies, and in parallel, strengthen the cooperation and coordination of financial investigation units and all respective law enforcement agencies, “said Wood.

During the training, international experts from Austria presented a complex example of an investigation of the money laundering in the amount of EUR 4 million which ended in final verdicts and assets seizure.

Trial Judge of the Regional Court Vienna in Austria  Helmut Weichhart said that this Twinning Project helps to create a clear understanding of everybody´s role in the fight against money laundering by identification and definition of difficulties in the everyday work between the prosecution office, investigators and judges at court:

The result of the mixed workshop will be the development of tailor-made training program by creating training materials and future trainer profiles and to integrate this training program in the existing training structures,” said Weichhart.

The ultimate goal of the training was to increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to detect and prosecute money laundering/terrorism financing cases and to discuss effective mechanisms for confiscation of proceeds of crime. This is the first in a series of joint trainings.

The Twinning Project “Support to the fight against money laundering” is funded by the European Union in the amount of EUR 2 million and implemented by Austrian-Slovenian consortium. Beneficiaries of this Project are the Ministry of Security of BiH and all law enforcement agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.