Anti-Money Laundering Council Chairman and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno. FILE PHOTO/MELO M. ACUÑA

Experts in financial intelligence and senior representatives from regulatory, national security and law enforcement agencies, as well as industry and academia from Asia and the world, began a meeting Tuesday in Manila.

A statement released by the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), Indonesia’s financial intelligence unit and the Australian government, said the Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) meeting will expand its scope beyond countering terrorist financing, and “will consider ways to address significant regional threats” that include the abuse of new financial technologies, corruption in the region and victim-based crimes that involve human trafficking, wildlife trafficking and child sex exploitation.

The conference is hosted by the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council with its co-founders, the Indonesian financial intelligence unit (PPATK) and Australia’s financial intelligence agency (Austrac).

The gathering hopes to identify and share counter-terrorism financing strategies between countries in the region, address regional high-risk money laundering threats, provide operational guidance to counterparts and private sector on digital currencies and virtual assets as well as present the outcomes from the pilot of a secure information-sharing platform to allow real-time intelligence sharing and collaboration between regional financial intelligence bodies.

“Fighting terrorism means teamwork among local and international stakeholders,” said AMLC Chairman and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno.

By sharing information and through collaboration, countries will be able to rethink strategies in beating terrorists and their financiers “at their own game,” he said.

Diokno said the CTF summit’s discourse has gone beyond its name to include money laundering and other offenses as the terrain of financial crime grows.

Austrac CEO Nicole Rose said the CTF summit has evolved into a globally recognized example of multilateral cooperation focused on terrorist financing and serious transnational crimes.

“Terrorist and organized crime groups are increasingly sophisticated international organizations and it is essential that we unite as a region to combat these threats together. The CTF Summit continues to facilitate important regional initiatives and cooperation and trust between financial intelligence units in the region has never been stronger,” she said. Melo M. Acuña