Archive for the ‘Anti-Terrorist Financing’ Category

Nepal to sign Anti-Money Laundering Agreement with Mongolia, Thailand and Malaysia

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Nepal is to sign a deal with Mongolia, Thailand and Malaysia in order to facilitate financial information exchange aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at the 13th annual general meeting of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG). The meeting will be held in Singapore from July 12-16.

In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, it will be mandatory for the 2 sides to provide each other financial information on bank balance, investment in real estate, shares and about persons suspected in money laundering and terrorist financing.

Also, such an agreement is to be signed between Nepal and India within a few months.

Nepal has recently asked Hong Kong to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the light of alleged capital flight to Hong Kong in the name of importing wool.

At the APG event, Nepal will forward its opinion on compliance on anti-money laundering and combating financing on terrorism measures. The country has already enforced anti-money laundering legislation and enforced some rules regarding banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, money transfer agencies, money changers, government agencies, cooperatives and casinos.

Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 implemented in Ireland

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

On May 5, 2010, the 3rd Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2005/60/EC) was finally transposed in Ireland by the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010. The aim of the 3rd Directive is widening the scope of previous legislation on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing based on the revised recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

According to the confirmation made by the Department of Justice and Law Reform, the commencement date for the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 will be July 15, 2010. The exception is Chapter 9 of Part 4 (Authorisation of Trust and Company Service Providers) that leaves a very short time frame for designated persons to comply with the new rules.

The responsibilities of designated persons as regards preventing and detecting money laundering and terrorist financing has widened significantly with the implementation of the new Act. The new legislation is aimed to consider the implications of the increased responsibilities on designated persons, including credit institutions, financial institutions, life assurance companies and intermediaries providing life assurance and other investment related services, auditors, external accountants, tax advisors, independent legal professionals, trust or company service providers, property service providers, casinos, private members’ clubs in relation to gambling activities and any person who is trading in goods in cash for a total of at least EUR 15 000.

As the Act will be commencement on July 15, 2010, designated persons need to ensure that their policies and procedures are updated in order to meet and comply with the new requirements. Non-compliance with the requirements may result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years and/or a fine.

Qatar’s new legislation curbs money laundering

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The rules and regulations regarding anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing that were followed by the Qatar’s 3 financial sector regulatory bodies have now been aligned with the jutrisdiction’s new law on this aspect. This was announced by the National Anti Money-Laundering and Combating Terrorism Committee (NAMLC).

On June 17, the NAMLC issued a statement to praise the collective efforts of those who deal with developing a regulatory infrastructure in line with the NAMLC’s AML/CFT national vision and strategy and the highest demands of AML/CFT international best practice.

It should be noted that an 18-month intensive review of legislative framework on anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) was recently completed in Qatar. As a result, Qatar’s new Law No. (4) of 2010 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (Law) was enacted, which commenced on April 30.

It is worth noting that before the enactment a tripartite committee of financial sector regulatory bodies, formed by the Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Markets Authority and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority were involved in a highly collaborative exercise aimed at coordinating and harmonising their respective AML/CFT rules and regulations.

NAMLC said: “Each body’s AML/CFT rules and regulations have now been brought into force and have been designed to ensure alignment both with the new law and their compliance with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations and standards”.

UAE signs Anti-Money Laundering Agreements

Monday, May 10th, 2010

On May 10, the United Arab Emirates signed new anti-money laundering agreements with 5 Arab countries

According to a UAE Central Bank’s statement, the memoranda of understanding were signed by Mohamed al-Awadi, executive director and head of Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit at the UAE Central Bank, with Morocco, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania and Sudan.

The agreements were signed at a recent meeting of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) that took place in Tunisia. They reveal the commitment of the United Arab Emirates to enhance cooperation with its global and regional partners in order to coordinate the efforts against money laundering, terrorist financing and related crimes.

It should be noted that the country has already finalized such agreements with 36 nations and organizations, which is part of its plan to conclude deals with at least 90 nations on cooperation to fight laundered money. It is also worth mentioning that the UAE is among the first jurisdictions in the region to enact anti-money laundering laws and publicly report such cases.

In 2009, a total of 1 729 suspected money laundering cases were uncovered in the UAE. The UAE Central Bank received more than 11 800 reports on cash declaration.

Pakistan approves AML Bill

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

On February 24, 2010, Pakistan’s Senate standing committee on finance unanimously approved the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Bill 2009. The approved legislation is aimed at effectively checking suspicious business transactions used for terrorist financing.

The committee which, under the chairmanship of Ahmed Ali, gave formal approval of the bill linked the approval of the Bill with a condition that the Ministry of Finance and committee would together prepare proposed amendments in the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Act within a year.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Ordinance is to expire on March 26, 2010, therefore, due to the urgency of the issue, the proposed bill should have been passed by the Senate as soon as possible. As the Bill has been approved by the Senate, it will be sent to Prime Minister to obtain necessary approval to have a status of a law.

Ecuador protests inclusion on FATF blacklist

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

It was discussed that FATF blacklisted 8 countries for for alleged money laundering and terrorism. The list included Ecuador, Iran, Pakistan, Angola, Ethiopia, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Sao Tome and Principe.

In a news conference, Ecuador protested its inclusion on this blacklist. The country does not think of itself as failing to comply with standards against money-laundering and terrorism financing.

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said: “We completely reject this perverse insinuation”. He noted that the country had received international praise for measures to regulate its financial system. He also added that rich countries who are judging poorer jurisdictions on their record should first of all put their own house in order. He said: “We honestly do not think the nations of the North have the moral authority to put us on that list. Let’s see in the future who should be on that list”

FATF blacklists 8 countries

Friday, February 19th, 2010

On February 19, the US Treasury Department said in a statement that a global anti-corruption body has blacklisted 8 countries for alleged money laundering and terrorism financing as well as stepped up calls for sanctions against Iran.

The Treasury Department welcomed the FATF statements noting: “We also welcome FATF’s renewed call today for its members and all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures to protect their financial sectors from the money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Iran.”

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has identified 8 countries that have strategic deficiencies in alleged money laundering and terrorism financing. This inter-governmental body named Iran, Pakistan, Angola, Ecuador, Ethiopia, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Sao Tome and Principe as they may be posing a risk to the international financial system.

MENAFATF plans review mechanism on Money Laundering

Monday, January 11th, 2010

A review mechanism will be set up by the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) in order to help the banking system and private sector to identify indicators, trends and threats of both money laundering and terrorist financing.

On January 10, when speaking at a workshop in Doha, Sheikh Ahmed bin Eid al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Finance Intelligence Unit, said that the event aimed to share experiences of the participants so that a mechanism could be finalized.

Many suspected cases that have not reached the level of money laundering have been received by the Qatar Finance Intelligence Unit in Qatar. However, he noted that the final decision will be for the prosecution and the courts.

Adek al-Kulaish, executive secretary of MENAFATF, said that the risk of money laundering and financing terrorism exists and threatens all countries. He noted that it was difficult to estimate the volume of money laundering and terrorism financing as precise figures are absent. He stated, “There are no figures on the global-level, with the exception of a study by the International Monetary Fund in 2003, but that has not been updated”.

Saudi Arabia to root out Terror Financing

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Saudi Arabia has a number of measures underway aimed at rooting out terrorism, particularly financing of terrorist organisations and money laundering. This was announced by Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Salem, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior.

On November 14, Al Salem addressed the closing session of the 10th Conference on Transnational Crime that was organised by the Crans Montana Forum and held in Paris. Al Salem said Saudi Arabia is opposed to all forms of terrorism and that it will continue its crackdown on criminals intending to disrupt the peace and stability of the country.

Also, he said that Saudi Arabia abides by all international resolutions connected with combating terrorism. The government of Saudi Arabia has signed bilateral agreements with other countries on combating terror funding and money laundering.

UK: the EU Committee issues report on money laundering and terrorism financing

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Recently the European Union Committee of the House of Lords, UK Parliament, published the Report on “Money laundering and the financing of terrorism”, where asked the UK Government to investigate how piracy and laundering the proceeds of crime are used for the financing of terrorism.

In the opinion of the UK Government, there is no link between piracy and terrorism financing, but the Committee has another point of view. They suggest that paying of a ransom to pirates should not be a criminal offence, but shipowners must seek consent for the payment, as the authorities must know in advance the amount that is being paid, to whom and where.

It is noted in the report that the success of fight against money laundering depends on the institutions providing reports of suspicious activities to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The EU Committee considered the influence on private sector organisations of making all the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to SOCA, having pointed out that banks and other private sector institutions give large sums and resources to make these reports. The Committee expressed its concern that private sector organisations do not receive enough information about how and where the reports’ data is used. The conclusion made by the Committee was that only increased feedback will help to persuade the regulated sector of economy of the value of efforts to comply with the SARs regime.

Another factor to have an impact on money laundering is sharing information about the movement of money and about suspicious bank accounts. The Committee pointed out that the first comprehensive international treaty covering the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism is the Warsaw Convention on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, which is not yet signed by the UK. The members of the Committee call on the UK Government to sign and ratify it as soon as possible.

Another reason for Government’s critics in the report is failing to implement the EU Framework Decision on mutual recognition fo confiscation orders, while confiscation is one of the best methods of combating money laundering.