07 March, 2008
Supporting the efforts of Turkmenistan to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism was the aim of a workshop that ended in Ashgabad on 5 March.
The two-day event was organized by the OSCE, the World Bank, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Monetary Fund, and the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.
The workshop helped train officials from various government bodies on international standards in building an effective system to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. It was also designed to help national officials implement best practices in Turkmenistan to protect its population, meet its international obligations and contribute to the global fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism.
"A single country alone is not capable of fighting money laundering and terrorism financing," said Ambassador Ibrahim Djikic, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabad. "In our globalized world, borders are not an obstacle for organized crime groups and terrorists. Only co-ordinated actions by law enforcement agencies of different countries, and assistance from the private and financial sectors can do the job." He added that the OSCE was ready to offer necessary assistance to the Government of Turkmenistan to help develop the necessary legislation, mechanisms and procedures to be able to identify suspicious transactions and report them to the authorities.
Participants noted that developing financial intelligence units in Turkmenistan to collect, analyze and processes confidential financial information, was key to preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism on the national and international levels. Today, such financial units exist in more than 100 countries.
Turkmen officials found out more about the work of such financial units from experts from Belarus, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and the United States who shared their experiences in the field.
In December 2007, Turkmenistan became an Observer of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism. This was an important step in getting involved in global efforts to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. Turkmenistan is in the process of drafting a new law to improve its national efforts to fight organized criminal activity and more effectively contribute to the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.