Terrorist Financing via Money Transfer Systems

In: European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
Fabian Teichmann Dr. iur. Dr. rer. pol., LL.M.; Attorney-at-law and public notary, Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland,

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Marie-Christin Falker Graduate Research Associate, Teichmann International (Schweiz) AG, St. Gallen, Switzerland,

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With the rise of the Islamic State and the corresponding war in Syria, which has caused an international refugee crisis, the combat of terrorism has, again, become a major goal for European authorities. One popular approach to the combat of terrorism is to interrupt the funding of terrorist organisations. Whereas other studies have focused mainly on the implementation of prevention measures, this study investigates terrorist financing methods from the offender’s perspective with a focus on so-called money transfer systems to reveal weaknesses in the regulation of terrorist financing in general and money transfer systems in particular. For this purpose, qualitative interviews with 15 presumed providers of illegal financial services and 15 European compliance experts were conducted. This paper has implications for law enforcement, regulatory authorities, investigators and financial service providers. Innovative measures such as the use of electronic surveillance and expanding the jurisdiction of undercover agents are suggested.

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