21/03/2011 - More than 150 delegates from over 54 countries are participating in the first international Tax and Crime Conference organised by the OECD and hosted by the Norwegian government in Oslo, Norway. The conference brings together representatives from a range of OECD and non-OECD governmental agencies, including tax administrations, finance and justice ministries, Financial Intelligence Units, central banks, FATF, international organisations, as well as business and NGOs.
Participants from OECD and G20 countries as well as developing countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America are sharing ideas to find better and more effective ways to counter financial crimes, including tax evasion and other illicit flows through better interagency and international co-operation. The aim is to deliver better results, in shorter time frames, with lower costs and less duplication, building on the strength and expertise of different agencies.
Issues of financial crime and illicit flows are of concern to all countries, but particularly to developing countries. Illicit financial flows resulting from financial crimes strip resources from developing countries that could finance their long-term development and undermines the foundation of democratic governance.
Mr. Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD emphasised how interagency co-operation can enhance financial integrity and good governance by improving the effectiveness of countries’ abilities to fight financial crimes. “Unfortunately, criminals operate across borders and sectors quite easily. They make harmful use of telecommunications innovations and liberalisation of trade to carry out illicit activities with greater speed and on a wider stage. They can also more readily hide their traces by using multiple jurisdictions and by recycling the proceeds of their crimes at dizzying speeds. So, we need to operate across borders and between agencies as well. The question we are addressing is how to do so effectively.”
Mr. Jeffrey Owens, Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD