The annual Pacific Financial Intelligence community (PFIC) Plenary was held at The Edgewater Resort last week. PFIC/23111710
The Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) from the Pacific convened in Rarotonga last week to bolster regional partnerships in the fight against serious financial crimes.
provided a valuable opportunity for FIUs to further explore initiatives to
fight financial crime, including joint operations, capacity building activities
and region-wide technological enhancements.
in-person plenary of the annual Pacific Financial Intelligence community
(PFIC), was held over three days and closed on Friday, at The Edgewater Resort.
PFIC was co-hosted
by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), and the
Cook Islands Financial Intelligence Unit (CIFIU).
Walter Henry, head
of Cook Islands FIU and the co-chair of the PFIC, has agreed to stay on in the
position for another year.
Henry said the
development of a Regional National Risk Assessment was requested at the table –
to have a regional model that can apply to all in the Pacific.
He expressed that
this is an area that the members can focus on, as it is both fit for purpose
for all Pacific Island countries and has been endorsed by the governing body.
the effectiveness of the PFIC as a network of aligned partners and noted their
intention to move ahead together as partners through the signing of the “PFIC Collaboration
and Information Sharing: Statement of Intent”.
They also agreed
with the programme of work and focus areas, which are noted in the “Rarotonga
Statement”, identifying initiatives the members will explore to combat financial crime.
initiatives include looking to formalising strategic partnerships with other
regional multilateral bodies such as the Pacific Islands Chief of Police, Asia
Pacific group on money laundering and Pacific Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
Supervisors Forum. This will allow them to seek out opportunities to partner
with other non-PFIC member financial intelligence units that hold substantial
Pacific interests, and to establish a risk assessment methodology and
involve the sharing of information and joint analysis proactively through multilateral
intelligence projects, as well as to encourage information sharing between PFIC
members by sharing of lists of persons of interest, and to explore partnerships
with other members in the wider anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism
provided the Cook Islands FIU with Taipan, a new data analytics system that
financial intelligence analysts can use to detect suspicious financial patterns
related to criminal activities.
Building and Research initiatives include the continuation of rolling out Taipan
to all PFIC members (not including Australia and NZ) and create a community of
practice through the Taipan User Group.
The focus areas
for PFIC next year will comprise of Transnational Serious Organised Crime
(OMCGs) and Narcotics Trafficking, Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE),
corruption and politically exposed persons.
delegates attended the plenary at The Edgewater Resort, including the PFIC
co-chair Dr John Moss, who is the AUSTRAC deputy CEO.
In attendance at
the PFIC plenary were representatives from the FIUs of Australia, Cook Islands,
Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of
Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.