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From Shells to Ships: Tracing Hamas’ illicit financial flows

Description

On 7th October 2023, the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas carried out an unprecedented assault on Israel. This is no doubt the most serious cross-border attacks Israel has faced in more than a generation. Their fighters penetrated communities close to the Gaza Strip, resulting in the death of over 1,300 people and the capture of numerous hostages.

To fund their assaults, it is said that Hamas' supporters have devised various channels and methodologies to evade detection. These include soliciting donations in cryptocurrencies as well as through more traditional fund-raising methods, to funnel funds, resources and military equipment into Gaza. According to the U.S. State Department, Iran offers substantial state-backed annual support, estimated at up to $100 million, to Palestinian organisations like Hamas and their terror-proxy organisation in Lebanon - Hezbollah. The State Department has also highlighted the use of financial structuring tactics involving shell companies, shipping deals, and precious metals to facilitate these financial transfers.

 

Content

  • Explain the fundamentals of terrorism financing

  • Delve into how militant organisations, like Hamas and Hezbollah, raise funds to finance their objectives

  • Discuss the strategies and mechanisms employed by terrorist organisations to move and store their resources, from the use of traditional banking channels to cryptocurrencies and leveraging illicit trading opportunities

 

Learning Outcomes

Having attended this course, delegates will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the international regulations and frameworks designed to combat terror financing

  • Gain insights into the key agencies and stakeholders involved in tackling TF

  • Understand how you might be exposed to TF methodologies through your own customer's operations and products and services offered

  • Through real-world case studies and practical insights, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to contribute effectively to global efforts in preventing and disrupting the flow of funds to terrorist organisations

 

Presenter

Ross Savage

Expert Trainer at the School of International Financial Services

Ross 

Ross is an experienced freelance financial crime consultant and professional trainer with over 20 years of experience.  As an ex Detective and Accredited Financial Investigator, Ross initially focused on conducting money laundering investigations and stripping the illegally obtained assets of organised criminals. 

Ross spent part of his operational career working for the UK National Terrorist Financial Investigation Unit (NTFIU). Working closely with government & industry partners, he led terrorist finance operations and supported work on domestic and international sanctions investigations. During this time, Ross was part of a small training team that delivered bespoke, tailored training in Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Sanctions Compliance to overseas partners in the Middle East. For part of the time Ross worked within UK counter-terrorism, he was seconded to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). Here, he provided specialist CFT/AML & sanctions expertise, travelling to Afghanistan, the United States and across Europe.

Outside of UK law enforcement, Ross has previously held the title of Global Lead for Sanctions Compliance Training for the International Compliance Association, and is a visiting expert and trainer for several other financial crime and sanctions compliance training companies.


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