The Countering the Financing of Terrorism Forum has been launched by the Royal Gibraltar Police, which said it would help specialist officers share their experiences and benefit each jurisdiction due to similarities between them in terms of legal frameworks and as financial centres.
The project, under the leadership of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Tunbridge, follows an external review of Gibraltar’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regimes in 2019 by MoneyVal. MoneyVal is a monitoring body of the Council of Europe that counters money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The body’s recommendations required Gibraltar to strengthen its ties with other jurisdictions in this area of policing to stay ahead of terrorist financing trends.
‘We plan to develop training capabilities in the forum and hear from experts in the UK who will share their specialised knowledge with us. This will include briefings from the National Terrorist Financial Investigation Unit, part of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, SO15,’ said Detective Chief Inspector Tunbridge of the RGP.
‘We also want to increase the number of international partners we work with in the future, thereby increasing the learning opportunities that this partnership will bring.’
The head of the RGP’s Economic Crime Unit also said the forum would help national security and see Gibraltar helping in the fight against terrorism.
Adrian Hale, head of Guernsey Police’s Financial Intelligence Unit, said his unit worked collaboratively with its counterparts in Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Jersey in respect of both anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing matters.
‘This forum is an ideal mechanism to share intelligence from suspicious activity reports in respect of terrorist financing, common trends and typologies, and upskill the FIU and Economic Financial Crime Bureau staff on emerging terrorist financing risks that may impact the Bailiwick as an international finance centre,’ he said.
‘This is a challenging and ever-developing area and Guernsey must ensure that it has effective and efficient mechanisms in place to identify terrorist financing at the earliest opportunity.’
The forum is also an ideal opportunity to develop best practices with fellow agencies as well as share common trends and indicators with the Bailiwick’s financial sector and other authorities to enhance national and international efforts to counter terrorism.