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NEWS: Germany announces Daniel Thelesklaf as its new FIU chief as it draws a line under recent controversies

GERMAN FIU CHIEF: Daniel Thelesklaf was today name as the new head of Germany's FIU and will hope to put recent controversies behind the unit. He is pictured with the Deputy DG of Germany's finance ministry Dr Marcus Pleyer, until recently FATF President.

GERMANY today appointed Daniel Thelesklaf to head up its FIU and draw a line under recent controversies.

Thelesklaf has previously led two national FIUs, is a former MONEYVAL chair, led the Risks & Trends Monitoring Group at FATF and until now was project leader of “Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking Initiative.”

The announcement was made this morning by the federal finance minister Christian Lindner and Thelesklaf will take up the position on July 1.

Before his assignment at the UN, Daniel was already head of the FIU in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, where he initiated important reforms. He has also worked in the legal departments of well-known banks. He is a Swiss citizen.

Making the announcement, finance minister Lindner said Thelesklaf had decades of experience in the fight against financial crime.

“The fight against financial crime is central to me. We consistently remedy deficiencies, strengthen investigators and drive digitization forward. Honest citizens should be protected from those who do not abide by the rules. Here we rely on the best forces,” he said.

“I am very pleased that with Daniel Thelesklaf we have been able to gain a proven expert in combating money laundering. Together with him, we will continue to push ahead with the reforms of the FIU that have already begun and fight money laundering in Germany with all determination,” the minister added.

Former FATF President and Deputy DG at the finance ministry, Dr Marcus Pleyer said of the new FIU chief: “He comes along with utmost expertise, great passion and a wonderful personality. I cannot tell how much I am looking forward to our close cooperation in fighting financial crime in Germany, Europe and beyond.”

The FIU is officially known as the German Central Office for Financial Transactions.

It is the national central body for financial transaction investigations. The unit is responsible for collecting and analysing information relating to money laundering or terrorist financing and for disseminating this information to the competent domestic public authorities for the purpose of investigating, preventing or prosecuting such acts.

Three months ago the unit was engulfed in controversy when it was revealed FATF was not told about 100,000 unprocessed SARs.

It came just months after Berlin was delighted to receive a good progress report from FATF. However this was tainted by the revelations of the task force being kept in the dark about the hidden SARS mountain. Soon after the head of the country’s FIU Christian Schulte has resigned, citing “personal reasons.”

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