Negative economic and non-economic effects of money laundering and financing of terrorism have made it imperative to establish and introduce international regulation to control financial and banking operations, Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund, AMF, has said.
Speaking on the opening day of an Abu Dhabi hosted 3-day workshop on preparing members of the Middle East and North African Financial Action Task Force, MENAFATF, for the second round of the Mutual Evaluation, that the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, an inter-governmental body established by the major seven industrialised countries, has issued 40 recommendations on combating anti-money laundering, AML, and then added nine special recommendations on counter-financing of terrorism, CFT, and proliferation in the wake of 11th September, 2001.
Mutual Evaluation is being conducted to determine member states' conformity with these recommendations by using the AML/CFT methodology. The objective of the Mutual Evaluation is to assess individual's existing AML/CFT regime by a team of AML/CFT assessors who are required to review and analyse all current laws and regulations related to AML/CFT in the assessed country to define its efficiency and conformity with international recommendations.
Arab countries, Dr. Al Hamidy stressed, were committed to cooperating with international AML/CFT, and the Bahrain-based MENAFATF was established to assist member countries to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. It also helps members states to build their capacities to counter these operations in line with international practices.
The three-day workshop is being organised by the AMF in collaboration with MENAFATF and the Central Bank of the UAE at a time when significant progress in advanced technology, information systems and financial liberalisation were contributing to the spread of money laundering and financing of terrorism operations.
Starting with its own members, the FATF monitors countries' progress in implementing the FATF Recommendations, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of the FATF Recommendations globally.
Combating these operations, he indicated, didn't only spring from the desire to fight crime but also from the fact that they have deep impact on the financial and economic stability of countries and their reputation.
MENAFATF seeks to adopt and implement the FATF 40 recommendations on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation, implement the relevant UN treaties and agreements and United Nations Security Council Resolutions, co-operate among each other to raise compliance with these standards within the MENA Region and to cooperate with other international and regional organizations, institutions and agencies to improve compliance worldwide, work jointly to identify issues of regional nature related to money laundering and terrorist financing, and to share relevant experiences and to develop solutions for dealing with them, and to take measures throughout the region to effectively combat money laundering and terrorist financing in a way that does not contradict with the cultural values, constitutional frameworks and legal systems in the member countries.