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New report to help narrow in on criminals streaming child sexual abuse material

9 September 2020

Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units has released a new report, Combatting child sexual abuse and exploitation through financial intelligence.

The report’s findings are the result of a collaboration led by AUSTRAC, the United Kingdom Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) and the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). The report examines the role of financial intelligence in global efforts to fight online streaming of child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSAE).

The project team also comprised the FIUs from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Guatemala, Isle of Man, Indonesia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Seychelles and Interpol.

Ian Mynot, head of the UKFIU, said, “This work will enhance child protection and help target more abusers by increasing the global understanding of the connection between financial flows and child sexual abuse.”

Money service businesses and payment service providers also provided input to the project to increase mutual understanding of global risk indicators and improve suspicious matter reporting. The businesses involved were American Express, MoneyGram, PayPal, TransferWise, Western Union, WorldRemit.

Mel Racela, AMLC Executive Director said “Online streaming of child sexual abuse is a global issue and we need a united front.”

The project team was able to identify financial indicators, keywords and datasets which will be shared with law enforcement and industry to improve the identification and tracking of financial activity linked to online streaming of CSAE.

AUSTRAC Deputy CEO Chris Collett said, “Exploitation through live streaming means offenders can order, pay for and view children being abused anywhere in the world. Financial information is often a key component in combating this horrific crime.”

The project showed that financial intelligence and tactical collaboration is critical to combatting CSAE. It also showed integrating high quality cyber-related data improved strategic and tactical intelligence and allowed a more holistic picture to better combat CSAE globally.

View the report on the Egmont Group website. https://egmontgroup.org/en/content/combatting-child-sexual-abuse-and-exploitation-iewg-project-report-now-available