UNITAR conducted a new e-learning course on “Fundamentals of Anti-Money Laundering:  International Standards and Compliance Issues” from May 3 to June 11, 2010. This course is the latest addition to the series of e-learning courses on Financial Governance developed and delivered by the Public Finance and Trade Programme of UNITAR.
The course on “Fundamentals of Anti-Money Laundering:  International Standards and Compliance Issues”, which was mentored by international law expert Dr. Ramandeep Chhina of Oxford University (UK) had 24 successful participants working mostly in the government sector and the private financial sector in 19 different countries. It combined self-study, mentored online discussions, and self-assessments with the aim of providing participants high quality training and networking in a flexible and cost-effective way.

The diversity of participants rendered very lively and insightful discussions about the reasons why some sectors of the economy are especially attractive to money launderers. Participants also exchanged ideas and opinions on what measures should be taken to prevent, ensure and promote compliance with international standards and on the external factors that could influence the rise of anti-money laundering compliance risks; they analyzed real events and potential approaches to tackle the problems; and debated whether ambiguity in the definition of certain aspects, created restrictions for anti-money laundering reduction.

On the whole, participants provided very positive feedback on the course, below are two comments from the final evaluation survey:

-“I really learned a lot of things in this course. Being an Officer of the Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Group of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the course is very helpful in my everyday work.”

-“The discussion forum provided the opportunity for diversity of views and experience sharing among course participants. From the contributions of participants, it was clear that some participants were more knowledgeable in the subject matter than others and this gave less knowledgeable participants more in-depth knowledge of the topics discussed …”

As financial crime has become more complex, and financial intelligence has become more recognized in combating international crime and terrorism, money laundering has become more prominent in political, economic, and legal debate. Today, all financial institutions globally are required to monitor, investigate and report transactions of a suspicious nature to the financial intelligence unit of the central bank in the respective country. It is for this reason that UNITAR has developed a series of practical training modules on this topic which explain to finance and non-finance sector officials alike the rudiments and practical imperatives of anti-money laundering.