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Head of FIC joins international Financial Intelligence Unit

South Africa’s footprint in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing has been given global standing with the appointment of Director of the Financial Intelligence Centre,

Adv Xolisile Khanyile, as one of two deputy vice-chairs to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.

The Egmont Group, an international body of 164 financial intelligence units, provides a platform for raising levels of capability, and for the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence to assist in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Currently in her third year as the FIC’s director, Adv Khanyile is responsible for guiding the organisation’s strategic direction and stakeholder relationships. In this position, she represents the country at national, regional and international engagements on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Adv Khanyile’s appointment as deputy vice-chair is for a two-year period, during which she will assume oversight over the Egmont Group’s governance and external communications reference groups. In the governance reference group, Adv Khanyile will have oversight of the preparation and development of the Egmont Group’s strategic plan for 2022-2025. In the communications reference group, she will be responsible for finalisation and approval of the Egmont Group’s communication guidelines and approval of its 2019/20 annual report. Adv Khanyile will also join the reference group for the Egmont Centre of Financial Intelligence Unit Excellence and Leadership.

“I am honoured to take up the position and to represent the FIC and the continent as deputy vice- chair at the Egmont Group,” said Adv Khanyile.

“If we are to make inroads in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing domestically, on the continent and globally, it is critical for FIUs that their intelligence is clearly understood and capable of being converted into admissible evidence, particularly in money laundering cases".

“I look forward to working with the Egmont Group in advancing the use of intelligence in the fight against crime and raising levels of information exchange among members and non-members alike. Since my appointment at the FIC we have made a concerted effort to foster and strengthen relationships with local and international partners to improve collaboration in the sharing of intelligence critical to law enforcement efforts.”

The Director added that the FIC was currently focusing on three strategic priorities: improved collaboration with law enforcement agencies with a view to adding value in disrupting organised financial crimes; the sharing of financial information sharing partnership with the banking institutions with a view to combating financial crime and ensuring that the financial system was intolerant to abuse and to improve on the delivery of strategic intelligence to keep law enforcement and policy makers abreast on the information the FIC provides about money laundering risks in the country. These focus areas have thus far led to ground-breaking collaboration between the FIC and the banking sector as well as the FIC and role players in the public sector.

Prior to her appointment at the FIC, Adv Khanyile’s career spanned more than two decades at the National Prosecuting Authority. She has held positions as director of public prosecutions in the Free State, acting director of public prosecutions for South Gauteng, senior deputy director of public prosecutions in the national prosecutions service and deputy director of public prosecutions in the asset forfeiture unit.

Adv Khanyile’s Egmont Group appointment is a testament to South Africa’s international standing and its work in helping to combat financial crime. Since joining the Egmont Group in 2003, the FIC has played a pivotal role in undertaking readiness assessments to assist financial intelligence units of candidate countries on the continent to become members of the Egmont Group.

Adv Khanyile’s appointment follows in the footsteps of her FIC predecessor, Murray Michell, who as then Director of the FIC, served as the Egmont Group chair between 2013 and 2015.

Access the FIC Press Release here

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