Financial Crime Fighter of the Year
The Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime Annual “Financial Crime Fighter” award is given to the person or organisation that has provided outstanding leadership in the field of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, for example, in the prevention or detection of financial crime or financial crime harm reduction or in collaboration and or innovation, in the public, private or civil society sectors.
Nominations and voting to decide the final outcome are carried out via the Members of the GCFFC and the many experts that work with the GCFFC.
Financial Crime Fighter of the Year – 2023
The Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime is delighted to announce that John Scanlon, Head of the Global Initiative to END Wildlife Crime, is the prestigious recipient of this year’s Financial Crime Fighter of the Year award for 2023.
We would like to congratulate John and the END Wildlife Crime initiative, together with the many supporters and colleagues of Johns’ that underpin this award presentation. We would also like to congratulate worthy runners up Duncan Jepson, Founder of Liberty Shared (previously Liberty Asia) and Olga de Truchis, Head of Société Générale Group Virtual Asset Compliance and the Europol EFIPPP Crypto-Assets Work Stream. Finalists for this year’s award were all congratulated on their outstanding contributions and leadership to combating financial crime. There are only winners in this list including all this year’s nominees who have made significant contributions to fighting financial crime with, in many cases, particular success in 20023 and for others for long standing efforts. Congratulations therefore also go to all the finalists:
Finalist nominees were:
- David Chew, Head of the Singapore Commercial Affairs Department
- Duncan Jepson, Founder of Liberty Shared (previously Liberty Asia)
- Edit Schlaffer, Founder of Women Without Borders, an international nonprofit organisation.
- Elżbieta Franków-Jaśkiewicz, Chair of Moneyval, Interim Chair of Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and Deputy Director of the Polish Ministry of Finance.
- Erin West, Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County, California USA,
- John Scanlon, Head of END Wildlife Crime global initiative
- South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC)
- Olga de Truchis, Head of Société Générale Group Virtual Asset Compliance, and the Europol EFIPPP Crypto-Assets Work Stream
- US Department of Justice, Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section,
- Zenobia Barry, Acting Director of the Financial Intelligence Centre of Namibia
John Scanlon said, upon receiving the award, “It is a great, and unexpected, honour to be presented with the GCFFC Financial Crime Fighter of the Year Award for 2023. There are many dedicated people working to prevent and combat wildlife crime on the front line, in the courtroom, and in the policy arena, all of whom deserve recognition. I am most grateful to the GCFFC, not only for this generous award, but for its extraordinary work in encouraging the public and private sectors to address the financial aspects of wildlife crimes, and of the need to strengthen the international legal framework for preventing and combating them.”
Chair of the GCFFC John Cusack stated that “John Scanlon is Chair of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, CEO Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation Chair and Chair of the UK Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund to name just a few of his roles, and formerly Secretary-General of CITES from 2010 – 2018. John is one of the world’s leading advocates for tracking the illegal wildlife trade as well as for conservation of wildlife which is under threat from both climate change and poaching. His advocacy and leadership promoting many interrelated wildlife causes makes him a standout candidate and worthy recipient of the GCFFC Financial Crime Fighter of the Year Award for 2023. This award in particular reflects the progress John is making to persuade countries of the world to add a 4th protocol on the illegal wildlife trade to the UN transnational organised crime convention raising the importance of tackling wildlife crime alongside other major financial crimes such as corruption, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking, people smuggling etc. the GCFFC and it’s members continue to support John, the Global Initiative to END Wildlife Crime and all those involved in protecting our worlds precious wildlife from criminality”.
The Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime congratulates David Chew, Duncan Jepson, Edit Schlaffer, Elżbieta Franków-Jaśkiewicz, Erin West, John Scanlon, SABRIC, Olga de Truchis, the US Department of Justice and Zenobia Barry for their outstanding leadership and contribution to fight financial crime and to all financial crime fighters. We keep fighting.
The full press release can be found on our publications page at this link here or in the press release document below:
Note to editors: The Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime Annual “Financial Crime Fighter” award is given to the person or organisation that has provided outstanding leadership in the field of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, for example, in the prevention or detection of financial crime or financial crime harm reduction or in collaboration and or innovation, in the public, private or civil society sectors. Nominations and voting to decide the final outcome are carried out via the Members of the GCFFC and the many experts that work with the GCFFC. The results are announced on the Financial Crime Fighter Day, which takes place on 15 December.
We are delighted to announce that Xolisile Khanyile – Egmont Group Chair and Head of the South African Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), received this award at the GCFFC plenary, with Mark Pieth, Professor, founder and former President of the Basel Institute on Governance and lze Znotina, Former Director of FIU in Latvia as runners up. Finalists for this year’s award were all congratulated on their outstanding contributions and leadership to combatting financial crime.
Finalists nominated were:
- Ilze Znotina – Former Director of FIU in Latvia (2018 – 2022)
- Mark Pieth – Professor, founder and former President of the Basel Institute on Governance (to 2022)
- Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge – UK Labour MP for Barking
- Valerie Tay – Executive Director, AML Department at the MAS (to 2022)
- William J Fox – Global FCC Head BoA; Former FinCEN Head (retiring)
- Xolisile Khanyile – Egmont Group Chair and Head of the South African Financial Intelligence Center (FIC)
- Congo Hold-Up Consortium
- Guardia di Finanza – Italy
- The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counterterrorism Financing – The United Arab Emirates
- United for Wildlife
Xolisile Khanyile, Egmont Group Chair and Head of the South African Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), said: “I have spent 28 years dedicated to the fight against financial crime, 5 of which I spent in the Financial Intelligence Centre, South Africa, supporting the efforts in combating money laundering and assisting in the identification of proceeds of crime. There is still a lot that needs to be done in refining the AML\CFT regime to be more impactful, from receiving quality reports from the reporting institutions, to having fit for purpose Financial intelligence units that are sufficiently resourced, to having skilled law enforcement agencies that are capable of speedily actioning intelligence reports and ensuring they are utilised in investigations, prosecutions and recovery of assets, more in particular of cases that are unknown and have not been registered by the police.
Public Private partnerships such as the South African Anti-Money Laundering Integrated Task Force, known as SAMLIT, have been a game changer and a step in the right direction, proactively in some instances, targeting criminals. I want to personally thank the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime for their commitment to assisting us in our fight. The recognition from your organisation is a privilege and one of the greatest honours of my life’s ambition, to make our world safer. Thank you again.”
Xolisile Khanyile has been chosen as the 2022 Financial Crime Fighter of the Year by the GCFFC due to her commitment to fight financial crime, not just in South Africa but across the continent and internationally, with a career spanning 23 years. This year Xolisile was chosen as the Chair of The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (since July 2022) in addition to her roles as Head of the South African FIU, the Financial Intelligence Centre (the FIC since 2018) and as Chair of the South African Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce, the first PPP in Africa (established in December 2019). This award is a recognition for Xolisile and voted by her peers in the anti-financial crime community due to her leadership and unwavering commitment to establish the first public-private partnership in Sub-Saharan Africa (established in 2019) while expanding this partnership across the region and creating unique working groups to tackle wildlife trafficking and human trafficking across the continent and internationally. She was also pivotal in helping to pass a Resolution (GA-2022-90-REP-11) at Interpol’s General Assembly in New Delhi as law enforcement agencies globally seek to strengthen a collaborative response to disrupt financial crime and corruption together with FIUs and the private sector.
Her leadership was also recognized by the Egmont Group and chosen as the Chair (since July 2022) to drive an ambitious agenda to promote partnerships and increase transparency to make the fight against financial crime more effective. She remarks that: “We cannot effectively fight organised crime without following the money that links the entire syndicate to the crime, an effective collaboration with NGOs, financial institutions, FIUs and law enforcement agencies is the only effective way of disrupting organised crime networks”.
The GFFC also recognises that Xolisile’s outstanding leadership will raise the profile of both Africa and Women in leadership roles in the fight against financial crime as she’s a role model for many across our industry.
The Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime congratulates Ilze Znotina, Mark Pieth, Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge, Valerie Tay, William J Fox, Xolisile Khanyile, Congo Hold-Up Consortium, Guardia di Finanza, The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counterterrorism Financing of the United Arab Emirates and United for Wildlife for their outstanding leadership and contribution to fight financial crime and to all financial crime fighters. We keep fighting.
Today, the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime (GCFFC) has announced its inaugural Financial Crime Fighter Award for 2021.
We are delighted to announce that David Lewis, Executive Secretary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and G20 Deputy, received this award at the GCFFC plenary, with the International Consortium of International Journalists (ICIJ) and William (Billy) Downer, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape, South Africa as runners up.Finalists for this year’s award were all congratulated on their outstanding contributions and leadership to combatting financial crime.
Finalists nominated were:
- The Cullen Commission, The Enquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, Canada
- William (Billy) Downer, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape, South Africa (ongoing)
- Nicola Gratteri – Italy’s leading anti-mafia prosecutor (decades to present)
- International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
- David Lewis – FATF Executive Secretary and G20 Deputy (October 2015 to December 2021)
- Stewart McGlynn – Executive Director AML, Monetary Authority of Hong Kong, (2014 to present)
- Tracy Paradise – Wolfsberg Group Executive Secretary (2003 to September 2021)
- Valerie Tay – Executive Director AML, Monetary Authority Singapore (ongoing)
- Transaction Monitoring Netherlands
- Hennie Verbeek-Kusters – Head of FIU the Netherlands (2008 to present) and Chair of the Egmont Group (2020 to present)
In the opinion of the GCFFC, David Lewis has provided such outstanding leadership in the field of AML/CTF, in particular as Executive Secretary of the FATF and G20 Deputy from October 2015 to December 2021.
David Lewis, FATF Executive Secretary and G20 Deputy, said: “This is great recognition for the hard work, passion and integrity of my FATF Secretariat colleagues at the OECD, and of the growing army of financial crime fighters in the public and private sector committed to working together to reduce the harm to people, the planet and economies. Thank you to the Global Coalition. It’s humbling and an honour to be counted among all those dedicated to fighting financial crime every day.”
David Lewis has strengthened, built and led an excellent team at the FATF Secretariat with many achievements advancing the fight against financial crime, including on existing and emerging threats such as those from cybercrime and virtual currencies, from human trafficking, people smuggling, as well as continued focus on proliferation finance and terrorism finance. David Lewis was also instrumental, for example, in persuading the then Chinese Presidency of FATF to include environmental crimes, including the illegal wildlife trade as a priority both in China and for the FATF.
David has championed the fight against financial crime, explained the work of the FATF and engaged with a broad range of stakeholders beyond the traditional government representatives, using multiple media channels, regular personal attendance at conferences and engaging with an ever enlarging fighting financial crime community, recognising that the FATF and governments alone are crucial but alone are not the answer. He has brought increased attention at the FATF to a changing world, including the need to focus on new technologies, information sharing, public private partnerships, as well as promoting risk-based activities. In promoting the fight against financial crime, David Lewis recognised the effort should be about preventing and tackling the harms that come from these illicit activities. At the same time, he recognised that tackling the unintended consequences stemming from AML/CFT measures including from de-risking, for charities and humanitarian efforts, also had to be part of this bigger conversation.
In addition to leadership in promoting action on environmental crime, another standout achievement has to include bringing independence and rigour to the many aspects of the work of the FATF Secretariat, whose professionalism, dedication, engagement and respect reflects the leadership from David Lewis and in turn this award is also very much based on and a credit to the FATF Secretariat as a whole.
Finally, and perhaps as important as any of these achievements, Davis Lewis has been prepared to challenge the FATF to ask itself some very important questions with some difficult answers coming back. Whilst many positives come from the existing AML/CTF regime promoted by the FATF, that no one is doing well enough when viewed through an effectiveness lens is a difficult but necessary message to communicate, as the myriad real world harms that come from financial crimes deserve an honest assessment and a prerequisite to promoting the right actions to improve.
The Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime congratulates David Lewis and the FATF Secretariat, the ICIJ, Billy Downer, the Cullen Commission, Nicola Gratteri, Stewart McGlynn, Tracy Paradise, Valerie Tay, Hennie Verbeek Kusters and Transaction Monitoring Netherlands for their outstanding leadership and contribution to fight financial crime and to all financial crime fighters. We keep fighting.