EC backs financial investigation drive

The European Commission has launched a three-year programme of initiatives
‘to promote use of financial investigation as a law enforcement technique’.

In a section headed ‘strengthen tools to address financial aspects of
organised crime’, the Commission confirmed it intended to develop a common set
of training standards in financial investigation skills by the end of this year.

There is a recommendation for a Memorandum of Understanding regarding
feedback from financial intelligence units to reporting bodies on suspicious
transaction reports to be approved by the end of next year [2006].

The Commission also wants to draft a recommendation to enhance the
transparency of legal entities to reduce vulnerability to infiltration by
organised crime.

Brussels has ongoing plans to promote the establishment of criminal asset
intelligence units in all EU member states.

And by the end of 2008 there will be an examination of standards for the
return of confiscated or forfeited assets as compensation or restitution to
identifiable victims of crime or charitable organisations.

Documents outlining the EC measures have been released by the Home Office
alongside a letter from home secretary Charles Clarke to his Tory shadow David
Davis and Lib Dem counterpart Mark Oaten justifying tougher new security laws.

They also form part of written evidence from the Home Office to the Commons
Home Affairs Committee on the security situation following the July 7 London

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