KABUL, Afghanistan — Special agents from the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Attaché Office based at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul hosted a two-week Cross Border Financial Investigations Training (CBFIT) program for 17 Afghan law enforcement and financial investigators.
Between May 11 and 22, the training participants learned how Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) and terrorist organizations fund their operations.
Through CBFIT, HSI provides specialized training, technical assistance and best practices to foreign law enforcement personnel, border control personnel, intelligence and regulatory agencies, and judicial authorities on cross-border financial crimes. This HSI-led training and technical assistance covers the following various topics: money laundering, moving and smuggling bulk currency, money service businesses, informal value transfer systems (such as Hawalas), trade-based money laundering, cross-border fraud, investigative techniques, kleptocracy and asset forfeiture. This training includes practical exercises which enable participants to learn how TCOs and terrorist organizations collect, store, and move illicit proceeds.
CBFIT is one of the major enduring programs HSI organizes in conjunction with international partners, such as the Government of Afghanistan. This is the first CBFIT ever conducted in a conflict zone. The problem of transnational organized criminal networks is one shared by Afghanistan, the United States and other regional partners. Through CBFIT, HSI provides specialized insight and expertise in identifying, disrupting and dismantling transnational money laundering organizations. HSI and the U.S. Embassy Kabul are committed to preventing illicit trade, travel and finance and the flow of money derived from transnational criminal activity that hurts the economic security of Afghanistan, the region, and the United States.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) HSI has 67 offices and eight Department of Defense liaisons in 48 countries around the world with more than 380 government and contract personnel committed to the agency's mission. The attachés within HSI's International Operations direct operations and serve as the agency's liaisons to their local government and law enforcement counterparts. The attachés are responsible for the following duties:
- Coordinating investigations with foreign law enforcement counterparts;
- Providing training and capacity building to foreign law enforcement counterparts;
- Assisting in deportations by facilitating ICE efforts to repatriate removable aliens; and
- Referring requests from host country agencies to ICE domestic investigative offices.