The 13th MENAFATF plenary meeting was held in the Regency Hotel, Kuwait, State of Kuwait, from 3 to 5 May 2011. The meeting was presided by the Algerian Republic, represented by Mr. Abdenour Hibouche, President of Cellule de Traitement du Renseignement Financier (CTRF) who inaugurated the plenary meeting – which was hosted by the Central Bank of Kuwait and the National Committee for AML and CFT – with Mr. Riyadh Al Hajri, First Attorney-General, Public Prosecution, State of Kuwait and Mr. Luis Urrutia, FATF President.
A large number of AML/CFT experts participated in the Plenary meeting, representing MENAFATF member countries (Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, and Yemen), in addition to observer countries and organizations (United Kingdom, USA, Spain, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Gulf Cooperation Council, FATF, Egmont Group and Arab Monetary Fund).
The 13th Plenary included a number of important events and discussed a series of subjects related to the MENAFATF work and activities, as follows:
1) Mutual Evaluation Reports:
The 13th Plenary adopted the mutual evaluation reports of AML/CFT regimes of:
The Sultanate of Oman (conducted jointly with the FATF) following an onsite visit to the Sultanate during the period from 17 to 29 July 2010. The report discussed all aspects of the AML/CFT regime and the level of compliance of the Sultanate of Oman with the international standards in this regard and the extent of the regime effectiveness. The report will be discussed once again in the FATF plenary meeting that will be held in June 2011 since the GCC is a member of the FATF.
The State of Kuwait (conducted by the IMF) following an onsite visit to the State of Kuwait during the period from 17 October to 1st of November 2010. The report discussed all aspects of the AML/CFT regime and the level of compliance of the State of Kuwait with the international standards in this regard and the extent of the regime effectiveness. The report will be discussed once again in the FATF plenary meeting that will be held in June 2011 since the GCC is member of the FATF.
2) Follow-up reports:
Within the framework of the follow up process for the mutual evaluation processes, the 13th Plenary meeting has adopted 6 follow-up reports for the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Yemen, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Arab Republic of Syria; such reports showed the progress made by those countries in developing their AML/CFT regimes according to the plan set up for that purpose in their MERs adopted between 2006 and 2009.
3) Working Groups:
The Plenary adopted the report of the Chair of the Mutual Evaluation Working Group (MEWG), which included decisions and recommendations the MEWG has reached in its meeting held in the State of Kuwait on the 1st of May 2011, on the margin of the 13th Plenary meeting in relation to:
Adopting the amended MEWG mandate.
Following up the ICRG process.
Adopting the timeline of ME process.
Adopting timeline of ME follow-up process for the countries that have been already evaluated.
Following up on the latest developments in the process review of the international standards and the international cooperation review process.
Moreover, the Plenary adopted the report of the Chair of the Technical Assistance and Typologies Working Group (TATWG), which included decisions and recommendations the TATWG has reached in its meeting held on 1st May 2011 on the margin of the 13th MENAFATF Plenary in relation to:
Following up the developments of the typologies project on “Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Money Laundering”.
MENAFATF training plan for the years 2012 – 2014.
Following up the status of organizing “the seminar on prosecution authorities and judiciaries” and the Regional Conference entitled “Cross-Border Cash Transportation: Challenges, Detection, and Combating”.
Proceeding in coordinating with the TA donors to provide some member countries with their needs’ in terms of TA to improve their AML/CFT regimes.
4) 3rd MENAFATF Financial Intelligence Units Forum
The 3rd MENAFATF FIUs forum was held on Monday 2 May 2011; the most important issues are summarized below:
Encouraging and following-up the applications of FIUs to join the Egmont Group.
Exchanging the experience through a presentation of Best Practices made by 4 FIUs on the “role of the FIU in analyzing STRs and setting policy to evaluate ML/TF risks”.
The mechanisms proposed by the sub-committee to build and promote the capacities of FIUs.
Establishing mechanisms of cooperation with other Working Groups within the MENAFATF.
The 4th MENAFATF FIU forum will be held on the margin of the 14th plenary meeting in the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria in November 2011.
5) Other Issues:
- Adopting the 6th annual report 2010, Closing Account 2010 and External Auditor Report.
- Adopting the MENAFATF 2012 budget.
6) Next Plenary Meeting:
The 14th MENAFATF plenary meeting will be held in November 2011 in the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria.