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Cablegate: U.S. Treasury Trains West African Financial

P 311013Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4816
INFO ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS ABIDJAN 000907


TREASURY FOR IET LARRY MCDONALD, TFI LEVY AND GLASER, OTA
RUFFNER AND CORREA, AND FINCEN. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FOR OPDAT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER EFIN ECON KCRM KTFN IV
SUBJECT: U.S. TREASURY TRAINS WEST AFRICAN FINANCIAL
INTELLIGENCE UNITS

1. Summary. December 15-19, advisors from the U.S. Treasury
Department's Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) provided
training in financial investigative techniques to 55
individuals from francophone and lusophone West Africa.
Ambassador delivered opening remarks. On margins of the
course, econoff and the OTA team met with the head of Cote
d'Ivoire's financial intelligence unit (FIU), who requested
technical assistance, including help setting up a database
structure to deal with cash threshold reports. Post has
offered to help Ivorian FIU staff members improve their
English-language skills and has agreed to look for additional
anti-money-laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist-financing
(CTF) training opportunities, especially for members of the
Ivorian judicial system. End summary.

2. Advisors from the OTA Financial Enforcement Team provided
training in financial investigative techniques to
investigators, prosecutors, and FIU staff members in Abidjan
December 15-19. The GOCI and the Intergovernment
Anti-Money-Laundering Group (GIABA) in West Africa, the
regional Financial Action Task Force headquartered in Dakar,
cosponsored the training for French- and Portuguese-speaking
member countries. Sao Tome and Principe, an observer country
to GIABA, also sent representatives to the training.
Fifty-five individuals from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde,
Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal,
Sao Tome and Principe, and Togo participated in the course.

3. Ambassador Nesbitt gave an address at the opening of the
course, in which she congratulated the GOCI for creating the
Ivorian FIU, known as the National Unit for Processing
Financial Information (CENTIF), and acknowledged the work
CENTIF has done thus far. She stressed the importance of
applying new AML and CTF laws effectively, noting that
criminals search for countries with weak laws or where good
laws are not effectively enforced.

4. Topics covered in the training included money laundering,
terrorist financing, the Central Bank of West African States
(BCEAO) model AML/CTF law, financial intelligence units,
investigative task forces, corruption, sources of financial
information, forensic accounting, international evidence,
money laundering investigative techniques, asset forfeiture,
methods of proof, and investigative reports. The course also
included a practical exercise that was integrated with the
substantive lectures.

5. On the margins of the course, econoff and the OTA team
met with CENTIF officials to discuss CENTIF's need for
additional technical assistance. The CENTIF president, Mr.
Bli Toussaint Irigale, requested help in establishing a
database structure and in funding software and information
technology to process and analyze the large volume of cash
threshold reports that could be generated in Cote d'Ivoire.
He also described CENTIF's need to establish connectivity
with other government institutions. Additionally, CENTIF
staff needs analytical training so it can better deal with
cash threshold and suspicious transaction reports. Irigale
also requested the current list of USG terrorist designations
and designations made by the UN under UN Security Council
Resolution 1267. Post and OTA have since provided CENTIF the
requested lists. Additionally, in response to Irigale's
request for English-language training for CENTIF staff, post
has invited CENTIF staff members to participate in English
discussion groups at the Embassy. And in response to
Irigale's request for assistance on cybercrime issues, post
has provided contact information for the legal attachQ based
at Embassy Dakar.

6. OTA has held several joint training sessions with GIABA to
improve GIABA member countries' AML and CTF regimes and to
enhance their ability to fight financial crime. OTA has
provided training to member countries in the area of
cross-border cash smuggling (in conjunction with the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security), conducted a separate
financial investigative techniques course for
English-speaking member countries, and participated in a
recent course in Banjul for West Africa bank compliance
officers. Additionally, six representatives of Cote
d'Ivoire's CENTIF and two representatives of the Ivorian
Ministry of the Economy and Finance recently participated in
a one-week AML/CTF course hosted by the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation in Arlington, Virginia.

7. Post greatly appreciates the support provided by the
Department and U.S. Treasury for the newly organized Ivorian
FIU and requests that post be apprised of any additional
AML/CTF training opportunities, especially for prosecutors
and judges who may be asked to deal with AML/CTF issues.


AKUETTEH

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