Jun 17 • < 1 min read

ACAMS Europe 2022: Messages from the keynote speakers


After two jam-packed days in Brussels, team Xapien came away with some valuable insights from ACAMS Anti-Financial Crime conference. We’ll be following up with a series of blogs on Financial Crime Prevention, Private Equity ESG, and the value of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), but let’s start with the keynotes…

The core message from the keynotes across both days at the ACAMS was that OSINT is the key to combatting financial crime.

On Day 1, the Keynote speaker Burkhard Mühl represented Europol’s European Financial & Economic Crime Centre (EFECC). He highlighted the following key trends across the financial crime sector:

  1. Money laundering is a truly international crime but too often is dealt with at national level. More than 90% of STRs (Suspicious Transaction Reports) have a cross border dimension but less that 20% use international methods in investigating.

    `Key takeaway: International cooperation and access to international data is critical to combat financial crime.
  2. The war in Ukraine has taught us that OSINT plays a critical role in combatting and tracing sanctions evasion, displacement of assets, fraud scams exploiting conflict and the misuse of the humanitarian crisis.

Key takeaway: FIs need rapid, efficient and effective OSINT tools and techniques to combat financial crime.

On Day 2, David Lewis, former Executive Secretary of FATF and MD of Kroll kicked off the day with the following key points:

  • The AML model of CDD, monitoring and reporting suspicion is not how you’re most likely to spot money laundering.
  • We are unlikely to spot some of the biggest money laundering scandal that have hit banks in the EU in STRs.
  • Instead, advanced investigative practices are necessary. We need investigative skills and targeted intelligence to really fight financial crime.

    Stay posted for more of our updates from the conference!

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