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(LEAD) World Bank financier tapped head of FATF's training operation in S. Korea

All Headlines 14:34 September 01, 2016

(ATTN: MODIFIES lead; ADDS more information in paras 6-7)

SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Thursday a veteran World Bank financier has been chosen as the first chief of the local arm of an OECD agency tasked with combating terrorism financing.

South Korea has served as a devoted member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), especially facing direct threats from North Korea.

In line with the commitment, the FATF Training and Research Institute (TREIN) is scheduled to open in Busan, the nation's southern port city, on Sept. 20.

The TREIN will be in charge of international education and research on the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Kevin Stephenson, a senior financial sector specialist with the World Bank's Financial Market Integrity Unit, will serve as the institute's chief, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said.

In a unanimous decision, the TREIN's operating committee has selected the American official through an open recruitment system that drew a number of applications from 17 nations including the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Australia and Singapore, added the FSC.

The panel took into account his decades-long experience and expertise in the anti-money laundering field.

Stephenson worked as executive secretary of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units from 2012-2016 after serving as director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Kosovo.

He has also worked as a Deputy Attaché for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a special agent at the Department of Treasury. He holds a master's degree in criminal justice from the University of Tennessee.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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