08/06/2019 - OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and Japan's Minister of Finance Taro Aso presided today over a signing ceremony to establish a new centre of the OECD International Academy for Tax Crime Investigation in Wako, Japan.
The signing, which took place in the margins of the meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, establishes the OECD Asia-Pacific Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation. The Academy will be housed at the Wako Campus of the National Tax College, part of the National Tax Agency of Japan. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Commissioner of Japan's National Tax Agency Takeshi Fujii and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
The OECD Asia-Pacific Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation will provide intensive capacity-building courses for tax crime investigators and related law enforcement officials, including prosecutors, judges and anti-money laundering and anti-corruption officials- from Asia-Pacific countries. This will include broad-based courses on conducting and managing financial crime investigations (including digital forensics) as well as targeted courses on combatting specific types of tax and financial crimes, such as those associated with money laundering and VAT fraud.
"The Academy in Japan will draw together experts from the region, and allow them to work together in the fight against financial crime," Mr Gurría said. "In doing so, it will strengthen not only the capacity of individual countries, but those of the whole region and beyond. We thank Japan for their generous contribution to making this initiative possible. We look forward to ensuring that the Academy trains and strengthens the capacity of tax crime investigators and law enforcement officials."
Illicit financial flows, including those that derive from tax evasion and other financial crimes, have a large cost to government budgets and threaten the strategic, political and economic interests of all countries, with a particularly damaging impact in developing countries. These activities thrive in a climate of secrecy, inadequate legal frameworks, lax regulation, poor enforcement and weak inter-agency co-operation. Programmes offered by the OECD Asia-Pacific Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation will be an important contribution to the wider work of the OECD Oslo Dialogue, which promotes a whole-of-government approach to fighting financial crime.
The establishment of the OECD Asia Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation builds on the success of similar initiatives in other regions: the OECD International Academy for Tax Crime Investigation hosted by the Guardia di Finanza in Ostia, Italy; a pilot Africa Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation launched by the OECD, Kenya, Italy and Germany following the G20 Africa Partnership conference in June 2017; and the OECD Latin America Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation hosted by Argentina's Federal Administration of Public Revenues in Buenos Aires since June 2018. Together, these efforts have trained more than 700 financial investigators from over 90 countries.
Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.