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Seminar on Hawala Systems’ Effective Anti Money Laundering Measures, 26-30/07/21

August 31, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

What: International Seminar on Hawala Mechanisms’ Effective AML Measures: Detecting and Disrupting Illicit Financial Flows of Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants

Where: Virtual (online)

When: 26-30 July 2021

Who: 64 participants including financial analysts, investigators, prosecutors and compliance/supervision officers drawn from 11 countries of the Greater Horn and southern Africa region.



Money and value transfer systems are important tools in facilitating the flow of remittances. In the Horn of Africa region, hawala money transfer services play significant role in generating finance and foreign currency gains that contribute to the economic development of the region. The World Bank reported that, in 2019, Sub-Saharan Africa received about US$48 billion from remittance via money transfer services including hawala mechanisms. The wide range of services hawala systems offer are faster, easier and cheaper, therefore likely to attract criminals to launder proceeds of crime, move funds and finance criminal operations. FATF, in its Recommendation 14, stipulated that money and value transfer service providers should be subjected to effective AML/CFT measures to safeguard hawalas and other informal money transfer mechanisms and further deprive criminals from their criminal profits. FATF calls on member countries, among others, to build effective STRs/SARs analysis and reporting system; and to strengthen awareness and knowledge of FIUs, LEAs and regulatory bodies about the business of Hawala mechanisms and their associated risks.

Illicit financial flows from trafficking in human beings (THB) and smuggling of migrants (SoM) have been identified in many countries of the region. However, knowledge about operations of the Hawalas and the associated vulnerabilities is not commensurate with the risks posed by the hawala mechanisms. In line with this, we organized this international seminar virtually to address these concerns.



The seminar is expected to:

  • Strengthen the awareness and understanding of the FIUs and LEAs about the vulnerabilities and risks of money laundering and illicit financial flows in the hawala systems
  • Improve quality of hawala-related suspicious transactions analysis and investigation
  • Better exchange information and partnerships with the hawala service providers and among FIUs, LEAs and regulatory bodies


The post-seminar evaluation survey by the attendees revealed that the seminar:

  • was relevant and important,
  • achieved its goals,
  • added value to their knowledge and skills, and
  • was relevant to their professional improvement

The attendees requested for another face-to-face detailed technical training to multiple stakeholders with more time to practice more exercises and develop networking.


August 31, 2021
8:00 am - 5:00 pm