East African financial, police and judicial experts discuss asset freezing
CTED and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-money-laundering Group (ESAAMLG) held a regional workshop in Dar es Salaam from 4 to 6 June 2013 on implementing the asset-freezing provisions of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001).
The workshop was organized in cooperation with the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF). The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Tanzania, Filiberto Sebregondi, expressed during the opening session the EU support to the worldwide implementation of Resolution 1373 on behalf of EU co-chairmanship of the GCTF working group for the Horn of Africa.
Police, prosecutors, and representatives of the Finance Ministries and financial intelligence units (FIUs) of Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda shared information about their respective asset-freezing mechanisms and identified ways to address shortcomings.
Representatives of Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa and experts from other Member States and international and regional organizations also took part in the discussions.
The event was part of a global initiative launched by CTED in October 2012 with the aim of helping States establish effective mechanisms to freeze terrorist assets in accordance with resolution 1373. Working together with Financial Action Task Force-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs), CTED has held a number of regional workshops at which participants have discussed legislative, institutional and operational challenges and identified possible solutions. The first workshop, for member States of the West African Economic and Monetary Union was held in Dakar in December 2012.
Resolution 1373 requires United Nations Member States to freeze without delay funds and other financial assets of people who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts. The assets of those who participate in or facilitate the commission of these acts should also be frozen in an effort to disrupt terrorism financing. To comply with the resolution's provisions, States must build a national designation mechanism that is in line with due process guarantees, and review and respond to international freezing requests. "Freezing assets helps dismantle terrorist networks by cutting off access to resources," stressed Ms. Samia Ladgham, acting section chief in CTED.
In conducting assessments and on-site visits on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in East Africa, CTED has become aware of the many challenges faced by Member States in their efforts to implement an effective freezing mechanism in accordance with the relevant standards.
"This workshop could not have come at a more appropriate time," said Mr. Samson Kassala, Deputy Commissioner of Police, on behalf of the Tanzanian Inspector General of Police. "It will assist us in improving the frameworks we already have in our countries to implement resolution 1373 and limit the growing threats of terrorist activities and terrorist financing," Mr. Kassala underlined in his opening remarks.
Conducted with the generous support of the Government of the United States, the Dar es Salaam event helped raise participants' awareness of the importance and benefits of establishing an effective freezing regime as a way to counter terrorism financing and as a vital component of an effective counter-terrorism strategy.