Archive for February, 2010

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”

UAE Central Bank and Finland sign AML Agreement

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

According to the announcement made by Abdulrahim Mohammed Al Awadi, Assistant Executive Director and Head of the Anti-money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU) of the UAE, on February 19, 2010, the Central bank of the UAE signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on anti-money laundering with Finland.

The document was signed by Abdulrahim Mohammed Al Awadi and Marku-Aho, Head of National Bureau of Investigation/Financial Intelligence Unit of Finland. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the joint FATF-MENAFATF plenary meeting that was held at the Central Bank of UAE premises in Abu Dhabi.

The memorandum of understanding included mutual co-operation in different areas of interest to both parties. The agreement regarded financial information related to money laundering and terrorism financing with a view to support, enhance and strengthen policies of fighting money laundering and tourism financing.

This signing shows the UAE’s commitment to share financial information with its global partners in order to coordinate the efforts against money laundering and other financial crimes.

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.

Switzerland and Canada to amend existing DTA

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Switzerland and Canada have recently concluded negotiations that regarded extending administrative assistance in tax-related issues in accordance with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) standard and on other points. The countries have initialed a Protocol of Amendment on the existing double taxation agreement (DTA) between Switzerland and Canada.

The initialed text will first remain confidential. However, the Swiss cantons and business associations will be notified of the content in a brief report and will be allowed to submit their comments.

The complete text of the double taxation agreement will be published after being signed.