goRIGA: goAML Regional Meeting in Riga, 25-29 April 2022
Today, 63 out of 166 Financial Intelligence Units in the world have adopted goAML as their software tool of choice to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. The user base of the software continues to grow, with hundreds of thousands of users globally, and with more prominent cases being resolved daily.
The goAML programme showcases a mature governance model by all participant member states, and the ongoing communication and collaboration always triggers strong interest among member states to conduct regional meetings for goAML. After the success of the 2019 and 2020 meetings, the concept took traction again post-Covid in 2022, as a complementary addition to UNODC’s other training initiatives, allowing many of the countries using or implementing goAML to meet and share experiences.
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Latvia expressed strong interest in hosting this regional meeting, having gone recently live with the software and eager to share their valuable experience with the community. With the participation of the FIU Head Ilze Znotina and Innovations Head Ligita Pula, the five-day event, labelled goRiga, took place on the week 25 April 2022 in Riga and although the concept was regional, FIUs from all over the globe were invited.
As a result, the week was packed, with participation of 25 Member States' Financial Intelligence Units from around the world including the Chair of the goAML User Community (Luxembourg), Law Enforcement Agencies, the Finance Latvia Association as guests and UNODC on the topics of AML/CFT and goAML, technology opportunities, sanctions, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and many others.
Financial intelligence analysts and technical experts presented their best practices, success stories, challenges, and particularities of their usage of goAML. The Finance Latvia Association and the police gave direct user feedback on the software from the Reporting Entities’ perspective.
As for UNODC, the Information Technology Service, developer and coordinator of the goAML solution, presented the latest developments related to the project, planned features and innovations, and the Global Programme Against Money Laundering presented on the topics of Illicit Financial Flows in Illegal Mining and Precious Metals, and on Crypto assets Tracing, followed by a discussion about combatting these crime areas in goAML.
Participants were asked to provide feedback. They expressed very strong support for the format of the meeting, learning about their counterparts in other member states and the information exchanged. They also stressed in their feedback that goAML is more than a software but also a community that is strengthened by meeting regularly and exchanging ideas.
Tangible successes of the software were shared by an enthusiastic community. Among others, the prosecution thanks to goAML of a large number of Boko Haram terrorists in 2021 was mentioned, as well as the conviction thanks to goAML of a sexual child abuse perpetrator who paid using cryptocurrencies, as reported by a Scandinavian member state at the meeting.
The event turned out to be a rich and intense interaction among experts to combat Financial Crime using technology, progressing with enthusiasm to support the world’s fight against financial crime. We look forward to the next milestone, the release of goAML v5.2 in November. Member states feature voting is completed and intense development work already started by the goAML team.