The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Belgian CTIF-CFI (Cellule de Traitement des Informations Financières-Cel voor financiële informatieverwerking) have signed today an update to their cooperation arrangement, which dated back to 2005. The new text takes into account the evolutions in the legislative and operational frameworks in Belgium and in the EU and reaffirms the cooperation between OLAF and CTIF-CFI.
The arrangement provides a framework for OLAF and CTIF-CFI to collect, analyse and exchange intelligence that can support each other’s work. Both Offices will continue to work together when they gather information on suspicious financial transactions that could involve money laundering (or related criminal activities) and which affect the European Union’s financial interests.
OLAF Director-General Ville Itälä said: ‘’It is a pleasure for me to sign this arrangement today, which reaffirms OLAF’s long-standing partnership with CTIF-CFI. This is good news for European taxpayers. When we investigate at the European Anti-Fraud Office, we need to be able to follow the money to track down fraudsters and expose their schemes. It is important that we can count on our national partners for this. In return, OLAF can provide them support with its experience, international perspective and ability to connect the dots across borders.’’
CTIF-CFI President Philippe de Koster said: ‘’To combat money laundering efficiently, we need to find as many synergies as possible with all services that share this same goal. Having worked myself in UCLAF 27 years ago and both our institutions doing everything they can to make sure that the European taxpayers’ money is not deflected through criminal means, OLAF and CTIF-CFI are natural partners to me. Past experiences showed that analysts of OLAF and CTIF-CFI speak the same language and this common voice will be heard even more in the future.”
Ville Itälä and Philippe de Koster at the signature ceremony