Archive for July, 2008

MENAFATF

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Previously, the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) was briefly mentioned as an anti-money laundering organization headquartered in Bahrain. However, this organization does deserve more attention.

MENAFATF
is voluntary and co-operative body is established in November 2004 by agreement between its members and independent of other international bodies and organizations.

MENAFATF recognizing the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40 Recommendations on Anti-Money Laundering and the Special 9 Recommendations on Counter-Terrorist Financing as the international standards accepted worldwide.

Members of MENAFATF are as follows:

Jordan,
United Arab Emirates,
Bahrain,
Algeria,
Tunisia,
Saudi Arabia,
Sudan,
Syria,
Republic of Iraq,
Oman,
Qatar,
Kuwait,
Lebanon,
Egypt,
Morocco,
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Yemen.

Besides 17 members, MENAFATF also has 12 observers:

The Republic of France,
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
The United States of America,
The International Monetary Fund,
The World Bank,
The Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC),
The Financial Action Task Force,
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (Egmont Group),
Palestine,
The Kingdom of Spain,
The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).

The objectives of MENAFATF member countries are the following:

adopting and implementing the 40 Recommendations of the FATF against money laundering,
adopting and implementing the Special Recommendations of the FATF against terrorist financing,
implementing the relevant UN treaties and agreements and United Nations Security Council Resolutions dealing with countering money laundering/terrorist financing,
co-operating together in order to raise compliance with these standards and measures within the MENA Region and working with other international organizations in order to raise compliance worldwide,
identifying money laundering/terrorist financing issues of a regional nature, sharing experiences of these issues and developing regional solutions,
building effective arrangements throughout the region to combat effectively money laundering/terrorist financing according to the particular cultural values, constitutional framework and legal systems of the countries which are MENAFATF members.

Lebanon fights money laundering

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

After Lebanon was listed among non-cooperating counties by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)  in 2000, it had to take strict procedures.

To be removed from this blacklist in 2002, Lebanon had to take several steps that included issuing the law 318/2001 aimed to help banks avoid being abused as media for laundering the “dirty” money.

On July 15, Secretary of the investigation authority Mohammad Baaresisaid that this authority played an important role in revealing and fighting money laundering operations. The investigation authority was set up in 2001 and it was headed by the governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank. Baaresisaid noted that law 318 does not violate the confidentiality of banks. He also said that about 200 cases are suspected t as money laundering and terrorism financing every year in Lebanon.

He also emphasized that Lebanon played a great role in establishing Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) that is headquartered in Bahrain.

Money Laundering discussed at Seminar in Tanzania

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

On July 9, 2008, a seminar on fighting money laundering and terrorism financing took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This event is conducted by the Treasury and coordinated by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
 
It should be noted that the seminar held in Tanzania is part of a programme aimed at sensitising participants on the Anti-Money Laundering Law that came into force operational in July 2007. The law is aimed to create a strong anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing framework in Tanzania.

In accordance with the law, FIU is obliged to create training requirements and provide training for reporting persons as well as for judicial and law enforcement officers.

The seminar was opened by Finance and Economic Affairs minister Mustafa Mkulo.

The Anti-Money Laundering Act, section 4 of which created the Financial Intelligence Unit, was passed in November 2006 by Parliament of Tanzania.

APG meets in Indonesia to tackle Money Laundering

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

On July 8, 2008, the 11th Annual Meeting and the 7th Annual Technical Assistance and Training Forum of the Asia/Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering opened in Bali, Indonesia’s resort island. The meeting will last till July 11.

At the opening ceremony, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo AS Widodo noted that money laundering is a multidimensional crime and that, to overcome it, all APG members should work hard. According to the minister, efforts to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing should be made not only at national level but also at regional level.

Widodo said that the increasing rate of worldwide crime as a result of globalization is the real challenge. He also added that Indonesia was committed to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing efforts.

At this meeting, the APG planned to evaluate the implementation of international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

296 cases of money laundering

Friday, July 4th, 2008

On June 25, 2008, Daniel Choong Yew Chee faced the Sessions Court. Daniel Choong Yew Chee is a man charged with 296 cases of money laundering, which is the biggest number of charges ever faced by one person.

The 40-year-old director of G-Gold Gallery Sdn Bhd, was charged with laundering a total of RM54 million of illegal proceeds. This was in addition to the 94 similar money laundering charges involving RM23.3 million slapped against him at the Ipoh Sessions Court on June 23. He claimed trial to all charges.

The cases of money laundering were allegedly committed between December 2004 and May 2006 at the G-Gold Gallery office.

If found guilty under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001, Choong can face up to 5 years in prison, RM5 million fine or both.