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Enhancing the Fight Against Financial Crime Through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)

Jim Lee, the head of IRS Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) in the United States, has emphasized the critical role of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in combatting financial crime. Speaking at an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) conference in the Netherlands, Lee highlighted what Europe can learn from the U.S. in this regard.

Enhancing the Fight Against Financial Crime Through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)

Lee's speech at the Leaders in Finance AML conference, held at Landgoed Duin & Kruidberg near Amsterdam, began and ended with a powerful message, "Eendracht maakt macht," which translates to "Unity makes strength." He stressed the importance of unity in addressing financial crime threats and discussed various typologies of emerging threats in the money laundering landscape. Lee underscored the necessity of partnerships, stating, "When we work together, we are always greater than the sum of our parts."

While the core nature of financial crime hasn't changed significantly over the last five decades, the tools and technologies used to undermine the financial system have become more sophisticated and efficient, according to Lee. He highlighted the enduring significance of cash and the challenges in tracking money trails. To effectively combat financial crime, he urged law enforcement to adapt to new technological advances and leverage artificial intelligence.

Lee called for a more extensive use of PPPs to facilitate the sharing of data and technology, ultimately leading to greater success in apprehending criminals. In a demonstration of the commitment to international collaboration, he also visited Catherine de Bolle, the head of Europol, at the agency's headquarters in The Hague.

The conference also delved into discussions about cash and the challenges associated with handling it. Participants included Marc Kemper from Politie Nederland, Sophie Cohen Tervaert from DNB, Baldwin Kramer from Deloitte, and Eline Koster from Rabobank.

Additionally, Tom Loonen, a professor of Financial Law and Integrity at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, shared insights from his research on the job satisfaction of Know Your Customer (KYC) analysts and the operational challenges they face. Contrary to common misconceptions, Loonen pointed out that KYC analysts are not frustrated or disengaged individuals toiling away in obscurity; rather, they generally express satisfaction with their work and have a sense of purpose in their roles.



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