Since 1 January 2016, Europol has increased the level of integration among the nodes of the decentralised computer network of the European Union Member States’ Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), the FIU.net.
“FIU.NET is a decentralised computer network supporting the FIUs in the European Union in their fight against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Decentralised meaning, that there is no central database in one specific Member State where all the exchanged data is stored. When sending the information from one FIU to another, the exchanged data is only and safely stored on the FIU.NET databases at the premises of the FIUs involved in the exchange.” states the description on the website of the FIU network.
The initiative wants to create more synergy between financial and criminal intelligence agencies in the EU, a measure necessary to fight the constant growth of the criminal syndicates and the terrorism in Europe.
“Under the auspices of the EU FIU platform and the renewed provisions set in the IV anti-money laundering Directive, the embedment of FIU.net into Europol aims to create more synergy between financial and criminal intelligence, ultimately boosting efforts to fighting organised crime and terrorism in the EU.” states the official announcement issued by the Europol.
FIU.net was established in 2002 and was co-financed until 2015 by the European Commission, it is an organism created to monitor money laundering activities and terrorist financing. Its pillar is the information sharing between the Financial Intelligence Units. Each FIU has the task to monitor on financial transactions, in particular every transfer of money from entities in different states.
The implementation of a decentralised network implies that only the information shared between two Financial Intelligence Units is securely stored in the FIU.net databases.
The decision to embedment of FIU.net network in the Europol will enhance the exchange of financial intelligence. The information managed by the FIU.net architecture could be integrated with data managed by the Europol.
This is an important step against crime and terrorism, data from financial intelligence could be integrated with information related criminal intelligence activity conducted by the Europol, an important knowledge sustained with data provided by the Law Enforcement agencies of the EU countries.
“Thanks to the analytical capacities of Europol the suspicious money flows and their links to on-going terrorist and criminal activities can be further investigated. The FIU.net exchange platform will join other key Europol’s tools in the field such as the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP), the Focal Point Sustrans (support to anti-money laundering investigations) and the network of the EU Asset Recovery Offices (AROs).” continues the Europol.
The decision of joining the efforts against terrorist financing activities is a necessary step to respond threats even more dangerous for every country in the EU and that are assuming a global connotation.
A week ago the director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, announced a new European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) opening this month to fight the terrorism, it is easy to predict that this new structure will benefit also of the new strategic alliance.
(Security Affairs – terrorism, Europol)