Prevention of terrorist financing

The main ways of financing terrorism:

  • Legal transactions through credit institutions, primarily through Internet services
  • Use of alternative channels for cash transfer
  • Physical transport of money and other valuables (jewels, credit cards)
  • Crime, the proceeds of which will be used for financing the activities of terrorist groups – drug trafficking, illegal immigration etc.

Estonia’s developed banking structure and Internet services constitute an attractive financing channel for international terrorist groups. The fact that terrorist groups are interested in creating new channels for financing their activities and that they can do it also through Estonia is confirmed by criminal proceedings initiated by the Estonian Internal Security Service on the basis of a letter rogatory in 2006, in the course of which Estonian residents’ association with a terrorist financing scheme was ascertained. The court imposed conditional sentences for money laundering and computer fraud to the Estonian residents involved; the UK tribunal sentenced three British citizens associated with the scheme to 6,5-10 years imprisonment for aiding terrorism.

The proceedings were initiated by the Estonian Internal Security Service but as it was not ascertained that the Estonian residents were aware of their connection to terrorism, the proceedings were transferred to the Central Criminal Police based on the elements of money laundering.