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France and Israel sign AML cooperation agreement, promising to exchange information

On the sidelines of the FATF Plenary in Paris last week, France and Israel signed a new AML cooperation agreement.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was written between France's Intelligence and Action against Clandestine Financial Circuits (TRACFIN) and Israel's Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority (IMPA).

Both organizations acknowledged today (Monday) that they signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday, October 20, to strengthen their collaboration in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related criminal activities.

Both organizations have committed to holding frequent meetings to discuss the development of ML-FT threats, examine criminal tactics, and advance investigations.

According to Gabriel Atta, the Minister Delegate of Economy in France, "the fight against financial crime is a priority for the French Government and this agreement will strengthen the capacity of the two Financial Intelligence Units – but also for their national partners – to hinder money laundering and terrorism."

"International cooperation is the cornerstone of our strategy to combat financial crime and terrorist financing," according to Israel's Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Gideon Sa'ar. "The MoU between IMPA and TRACFIN will undeniably be a tool to strengthen our common effort in the fight against criminals in Israel and France."

"This agreement, in the form of an MoU, formalizes the long-standing relations and interactions between TRACFIN and its Israeli counterpart," stated Guillaume Valette-Valla, director of TRACFIN. "I welcome this agreement, which will intensify our operational relationship with IMPA, leveraging the expertise and partnerships our services have long developed."

"The strengthening of mutual cooperation between our two FIUs has a strategic value, both at national and professional level. Improving the sharing of financial intelligence and knowledge in high-risk areas is of utmost importance to both our countries," according to Ilit Ostrovitch-Levi, the head of IMPA.

TRACFIN is in charge of preventing money laundering, terrorist financing, and dark financial networks (AML-CFT). By preventing illegal financial networks, money laundering, and terrorism financing, TRACFIN helps to build a strong economy.

Its three main objectives are to combat economic and financial crime, combat financial fraud in public finances, and defend the nation's fundamental interests. Any information that may be used to determine a financial transaction's illicit or fraudulent destination is gathered, analyzed, enhanced, and used by TRACFIN.

Israel's Financial Intelligence Unit is known as the Israel Anti-Money Laundering Authority (IMPA) (FIU). The IMPA is responsible for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing in Israel. It was established in 2002 in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Law of 2000.

Additionally, the IMPA is in charge of Israel's participation in the broader fight against ML-FT, in line with the FATF's global standards. The work of IMPA in combating financial crime guarantees that the integrity of the financial system is safe, stable, and shielded against illicit activity.

The management of the national financial intelligence database is the responsibility of the IMPA, an independent intelligence agency. The data in the database is provided by obliged entities, governmental agencies, and foreign intelligence units from other countries. IMPA is in charge of gathering information from raw data and analyzing it to find entities that may be involved in ML-TF as well as to spot patterns, techniques, and typologies.

The creation of international standards, regulations, and collaboration in the battle against ML-FT is heavily influenced by IMPA, who serves as the leader of the Israeli delegation to the FATF and MONEYVAL. IMPA collaborates with foreign FIUs by exchanging financial information and fostering global AML/CFT collaboration. It is also a member of the Egmont Group of FIUs. The IMPA is the top source of knowledge, data, and outreach in AML/CFT, and its professionals are sought after for their counsel on a national and worldwide level.


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