FIA Trains Law Enforcement Agencies on Terrorism Financing Investigations
The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized a three-day Multi-Stakeholder Training workshop on conducting Terrorism Financing Investigations. The workshop convened intelligence agencies, key Law Enforcement Agencies, and Competent Authorities involved in counter-terrorism efforts.
The opening ceremony saw Mr. Cyrus Barigye, FIA's Director of ICT Systems and Security, representing Mr. Samuel Were Wandera, the Executive Director of FIA. Mr. Wandera expressed optimism that the training would introduce participants to terrorism financing concepts and stress the importance of tracing the origin of support for terrorist activities.
He urged attendees to utilize the workshop for networking, sharing experiences, and enhancing coordination among agencies to effectively combat terrorism and its financing. Mr. Wandera highlighted Uganda's robust legal and regulatory framework for detecting, deterring, and acting against terrorism and its financing, providing financial investigators with essential tools and powers.
Emphasizing the need for enhanced coordination, Mr. Wandera noted that terrorism and its financing transcend borders, impacting all countries, including Uganda. He stressed the importance of stakeholders coming together to enhance coordination and cooperation in the fight against these threats.
Mr. Wandera assured participants of FIA's commitment to its partnership with Law Enforcement and Intelligence agencies, emphasizing their role in receiving reports, gathering intelligence, and disseminating information relevant to their investigations.
He acknowledged that while FIA spontaneously disseminates intelligence related to suspected terrorist financing, effective collaboration between agencies is crucial for receiving pertinent information and intelligence.
Regarding FIA's collaboration with Law Enforcement Agencies, the ED pledged total support for financial investigations and prosecutions, as successful predicate offence convictions simplify money laundering and terrorism financing cases. He also highlighted that terrorism financing can be prosecuted as a standalone crime.
Mr. Wandera encouraged attendees to share their expertise, experiences, successes, and failures, emphasizing that collective efforts can make agencies smarter and stronger than the terrorists who threaten societies and financial systems.
The workshop included representatives from UNODC, intelligence analysts, investigators, prosecutors, prison officers, and immigration officers from various agencies involved in the counter-terrorism inter-agency forum.
Topics covered during the workshop included the role of FIA in combatting Terrorism Financing, the importance of collaboration in Terrorism Investigations, Prosecution Guided Investigations involving Terrorism Financing, and Converting key intelligence into Admissible Evidence, among others.