The activity of the Egmont Group, which was held its first meeting 1995, focuses on promoting cooperation and the exchange of information among the
national units concerned with money laundering (financial information units) at the global level, with a view to develop the technical and institutional
capabilities of these units in combating money laundering and terrorism financing operations.
The achievements made by the Group may be divided into three key categories:
- Laying down the mechanism for the exchange of information by the national unit through the Internet.
- Providing technical, institutional and organizational support to the national units.
- The issuing of principles related to the aspects and conditions for the exchange of information among the national units. These principles were issued in the year 2001.
It is worth mentioning that these principles (13 principles) draw an overall frame around the various aspects of information exchange among the member units, thereby promoting the exchange of information for the common interest and laying down the procedures and conditions associated there with as well as the responsibilities of the concerned parties and the conditions for the use of such exchanged information.
The main principles were the following :
- The financial information units should be able to exchange information freely with similar foreign units, on a reciprocal basis pursuant to joint agreements and understandings. Under such exchange, whether made pursuant to or without a request from the foreign bodies, there should be an exchange of all available information related to the relevant case and the parties associated therewith.
- The financial information units which request information should disclose the reason for request them and the purpose for which they will use such information and any other information that might help the unit which receives the request in determining whether such requests conflict with its local laws.
- The information so exchanged should be used only for the purpose or objective specified in the request for such information.
- The units which receive such information may not forward them to any third party without the consent of the units which provide the information.
- The financial information units should take such measures as are necessary to maintain the secrecy of the exchanged information.