In a significant stride towards combating economic crime and international tax offences, representatives from the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey gathered at Gibraltar House in London last week. The meeting marked the Quad Island Forum’s continued commitment to bolstering its framework and expanding collaboration with other authorities responsible for financial crime.
Over the course of three days, participants engaged in fruitful discussions that involved the Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit from Jersey and the Isle of Man Proactive International Money Laundering Investigation Team. The primary focus was on sharing best practices in preparation for upcoming Moneyval assessments.
A noteworthy development from the meeting was the formation of a dedicated subgroup that integrates tax authorities from all four jurisdictions. This initiative aims to foster enhanced cooperation between tax authorities and FIUs to combat serious tax-related crimes and sophisticated fraud schemes, which yield substantial illicit gains. The participants deliberated on strategic objectives, effective cooperation methods, training opportunities, best practices for accessing tax data, legal challenges, resources, and information technology.
The establishment of this sub-group serves as an encouraging step, demonstrating each jurisdiction’s dedication to equipping themselves with a comprehensive range of financial intelligence and mechanisms to target criminals and illicit proceeds.
The Quad Island Forum serves as a collaborative platform for knowledge sharing and experience exchange, enabling the four jurisdictions to work collectively towards their objectives. Recognizing the significance of international cooperation in combating money laundering, financing terrorism and proliferation, the Forum emphasizes the necessity for collaboration. It provides a vital avenue through which criminal activities can be identified and effectively addressed. The Forum members share common values, face similar challenges, and closely collaborate on issues of mutual importance. Subgroups within the Forum, such as Strategic Analysis, Public Private Partnerships, and Terrorist Financing, further facilitate focused discussions.
Edgar Lopez, the Director of the Gibraltar Financial Intelligence Unit, highlighted the value of the Quad Island Forum, stating, “It not only provides a platform for multilateral engagement but also allows technical experts in specialized fields to learn from each other and enhance existing measures and frameworks.”
John Lester, Gibraltar’s Income Tax Commissioner, expressed satisfaction with the opportunity to be a part of this initiative, underscoring the interconnected nature of money laundering and tax evasion. He emphasized the importance of collaboration in curbing these illicit activities and looked forward to nurturing strong relationships within the Forum.
The Sovereign Group was established in Gibraltar in 1987 and is one of the largest independent providers of corporate, private client, retirement planning, insurance and tax services. It has a network of 21 offices spanning Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East which includes offices in 3 of the 4 “islands” in the “quad”: Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Guernsey.
Director of Sovereign Tax Services, Lynette Chaudhary commented: “We welcome the Quad Island Forum’s continued commitment to strengthening its framework and expanding collaboration. This will enable closer working and knowledge sharing within the quad, with this collaborative approach aiding the fight against financial crime, in turn endeavouring to provide a more secure and resilient financial landscape.”