How to Detect Terrorist Financing in the Netherlands

In March 2017, the ACAMS Netherlands Chapter hosted a seminar titled “How to Detect Terrorist Financing in the Netherlands.”

There were no empty seats when ING hosted the ACAMS Netherlands Chapter seminar. Around 70 professionals gathered to listen to three very interesting speakers, all with different backgrounds and experiences, but all who shared extensive knowledge and insight on terrorist financing.

Key Takeaways

At the start of the seminar, ING Senior Legal Counsel Leonard de Jager discussed recent initiatives made by competent authorities to increase the opportunities for public- private partnerships to combat terrorist financing. A recent decree of the Minister of Security and Justice was also covered and it was recognized that banks may have information that enables the detection of terrorist financing and therefore the mapping of jihadist networks. Hence, selected banks may receive confidential police data in order to recognize risk transactions and to improve the quality of their reports of unusual transactions. After some further information was shared on national terrorist lists and the attempts by the EU to improve coordination and the sharing of these lists, Mr. de Jager finalized his presentation by covering some of the existing and future real risks of virtual currencies.

The second presentation was presented by an employee of the Dutch financial intelligence unit (FIU) and covered the Dutch experience in fighting foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). The cooperation between the FIU and the reporting entities was also discussed in depth and details on the objectives of the “TF Platform” (the Dutch banking association and the Netherlands FIU) were shared as part of the enhanced cooperation with reporting entities. In addition, detailed and useful information was shared on patterns and trends that can be used to identify FTFs. This covered lone actors and firearms (including how to order an AK-47 by post), and how to identify new trends on returning western FTFs.

The final speaker of the day was Grahame White, director of Analysis International. White discussed the terrorist threat in the Netherlands. By focusing on the Dutch component, the audience received a rather unique and very focused description of the terrorist financing risk. White explained the routes that are taken by Dutch foreign fighters to reach Syria and the way in which these fighters are recruited. By showing how close the Netherlands was to a potential terrorist attack, by asking the audience to vote for the likelihood of an attack in the Netherlands and by showing very shocking videos of some of the recent attacks in the surrounding countries, White succeeded in his attempt to raise further awareness on this topic.

The feedback received from the audience after the seminar has been very positive and the ACAMS Netherlands Chapter is grateful to the speakers, ING and our participants for a highly informative seminar.

ACAMS Netherlands Chapter Board

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