International network renews commitment to combat economic crimes

SINGAPORE - The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) will host the second Economic Crime Agencies Network (ECAN) meeting this week from Feb 19 to 20, 2014 at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel.

The ECAN is a formal network of law enforcement agencies from various countries involved primarily in the investigation and prosecution of economic crimes.

The idea of the network was first mooted in 2012 by a mutual desire of the different agencies to find ways to cooperate and fight economic crimes across jurisdictions, and exchange information.

The inaugural meeting of the network was first held in New Zealand in Feb 2013.

The CPIB will host 22 delegates from ten agencies including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC); Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC); Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission; New Zealand's Serious Fraud Office; the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office; the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF); the Australian Federal Police; the United States of America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Economic and Financial Crimes Comm ission of Nigeria and the World Bank's Integrity Vice Presidency.

The Attorney-General's Chambers and the Commercial Affairs Department from the Singapore Police Force will also be participating in the upcoming ECAN meeting.

The members will renew their commitment to tackle cross-jurisdictional fraud, bribery and corruption, share knowledge with one another and promote public awareness of issues surrounding economic crimes.

The presentations of case studies of interest will reinforce the sharing of best practices and experiences given that each member agency has unique challenges combating economic crimes in their home country.

The meeting agenda will also see the confirmation of the Network Annual Report which summarizes cooperation efforts, provides up dates on policy or legislative initiatives and shares professional development opportunities.

An excellent opportunity to renew old friendships and foster new ones while strengthen ing ties, this meeting of like-minded crime fighters will facilitate future cooperation and collaboration, especially when the Network has the capacity to expand its membership.

Increasingly, countries and nations are finding effective ways and stepping up their efforts to fight economic crimes across borders. Collaboration is key in these efforts and it epitomizes the spirit of the ECAN.

Director CPIB Wong Hong Kuan (the current Chair of ECAN) said, "the challenges faced by enforcement agencies in combating economic crimes are multi-faceted and complex. The greater sophistication and increasingly transnational nature of economic crimes require close cooperation amongst enforcement agencies and Economic Crime Agencies Network (ECAN) is a useful platform to build capacity and enhance cooperation amongst like-minded economic crime fighters."