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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Arab Anti-Corruption Agencies and Financial Intelligence Units Discuss Targeting Illicit Financial Networks: Global Experts Share Best Practices and Technologies

Arab Anti-Corruption Agencies and Financial Intelligence Units Discuss Targeting Illicit Financial Networks: Global Experts Share Best Practices and Technologies

The Arab Forum for Anti-Corruption Agencies and Financial Intelligence Units took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from Wednesday.
The event, hosted by Saudi Arabia's Presidency of State Security, focused on targeting illicit financial networks and improving institutional frameworks and joint coordination between multiple parties.

Global speakers included Jawhar Nfissi from Morocco's National Financial Intelligence Authority, Daniel Glaser from K2 Integrity, Elzbieta Frankow-Jaskiewicz from the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, Suliman Aljabrin from the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force in Bahrain, Khadija Ali from the Financial Investigation Unit of the Republic of Comoros, and Mohamed Allal Al-Kahil from Mauritania's Financial Prohibition Unit.

Saudi Arabia is focused on upholding the rule of law, promoting fair competition, and ensuring security and prosperity through efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Local entities are working to align their legal frameworks with the Kingdom's Anti-Money Laundering Permanent Committee's requirements.

Elzbieta Frankow-Jaskiewicz, interim chair of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, discussed their role in combating illicit financial networks.

The Egmont Group, which collaborates with various international organizations, is crucial to the global CFT regime due to its work in information-sharing and secure channels for exchanging information.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Republic of Comoros, headed by Khadija Ali, has improved its operational effectiveness through the use of typologies developed over the past three years.

Egmont Center, an international network of FIUs, has assisted Comoros with constructing a new learning platform and providing technical support.

With over 7,000 registered users and 2,011 courses, the FIU can effectively respond to suspicious transaction reports.

When receiving a report, Comoros requires the submission of the suspicious transaction file and may report to the prosecution.

The country also collaborates with banks, attorneys, notaries, jewelers, anti-corruption advocates, and other subject persons to combat financial crimes.

The Comorian government is taking steps to combat corruption and money laundering by enacting a new anti-corruption law and hiring modern experts.

They have a system in place to fight money laundering and terrorism funding at the national level.

Suliman Aljabrin, from the MENA financial action taskforce in Bahrain, praised the government's dedication and noted that the banking industry in the Arab world is developing well, but there is a need to balance the prevention of financial crimes with maintaining financial confidentiality.

The text discusses the challenges of implementing anti-money laundering regulations effectively, using Morocco as an example.

According to Daniel Glaser of K2 Integrity, successful implementation requires political will and investment of resources.

Jawhar Nfissi, head of Morocco's national financial intelligence body, adds that creating a national institutional structure and making a firm political commitment are essential.

Monitoring reports is also crucial, as there has been a significant increase in suspicion indicators in Morocco over the past five years.

Mauritania's Financial Prohibition Unit head, Mohamed Allal Al-Kahil, stressed the importance of passing new legislation to tackle bribery and corruption in Mauritania.

Current laws do not meet the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), according to Al-Kahil.
Translation:
Translated by AI
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