As criminals continue to look for more inventive ways to evade detection, the effectiveness and approach of legal and institutional frameworks will also continue to improve to identify, investigate and prosecute those who seek to benefit from the proceeds of crime, whilst protecting the integrity of the financial system and reducing the human and environmental impact of predicate crimes.
As part of this, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has begun to realise the benefit of wider collaboration in coordinating the country’s efforts to combat financial crime.
With the support of the National Treasury, the FIC initiated and launched the public- private financial information-sharing partnership, the South African Anti-Money Laundering Integrated Task Force (SAMLIT). Participants in SAMLIT include the Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank, the banking sector, the Banking Association South Africa and the South African Banking Risk Information Centre. This new partnership will allow the heart of the South African financial system to work together to identify and address the risks of financial crime holistically and collaboratively.
In addition to this, a new FIC-led collaboration is underway through the formation of the Fusion Centre, which brings together public law enforcement and criminal justice investigative bodies. Collaborators include the National Prosecuting Authority, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the South African Revenue Service, the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation, the Financial Surveillance Department as well as the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council. This alliance will make investigations and law enforcement much more rigorous for those who purpurate financial crimes within South Africa’s borders.
To extend this even further, the FIC completed memorandums of understanding with 91 international financial intelligence centers to allow easier sharing of information and to enable more effective monitoring, investigations, and prosecutions of cross-border illicit activities.
The future is certainly looking up for the fight against financial crime in SA – as more and more people come to work together to create a force to be reckoned with!