International Network Renews Commitment to Combat Economic Crimes
The Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Giovanni Kessler, participated to the second meeting of the Economic Crime Agencies Network (ECAN), hosted by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau of Singapore on 19 and 20 February.
Delegates from ten anti-fraud agencies renewed their commitment to tackle cross-jurisdictional fraud, bribery and corruption, share knowledge and promote public awareness of issues surrounding economic crimes. The participants also presented case studies of interest with the aim of sharing best practices and experiences. Participating agencies included the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC); Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC); Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission; New Zealand's Serious Fraud Office; the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office; the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF); the Australian Federal Police; the United States of America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria and the World Bank's Integrity Vice Presidency.
At the meeting, OLAF representatives highlighted the need for more information exchange and for legal assistance in the context of transnational investigations. They stressed that in times when more and more criminals operate cross borders, law enforcement agencies have to strengthen their cooperation as well.
The ECAN is a formal network of law enforcement agencies from various countries involved primarily in the investigation and prosecution of economic crimes. The idea of the network was first mooted in 2012 by a mutual desire of the different agencies to find ways to cooperate and fight economic crimes across jurisdictions, and exchange information. The inaugural meeting of the network was first held in February 2013. The members are bodies such as OLAF, CPIB, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the World Bank’s Integrity Vice-Presidency. It is the aim of the ECAN members to further expand membership in the network.