A meeting on the proposed establishment of an anti-money laundering body for the Middle East and North Africa region is to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on 13th January 2004. The meeting is organized by the Ministry of Finance and National Economy and the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA), in coordination with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The international meeting will discuss the technical aspects of a proposal to establish a regional organisation similar to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard setting body for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. It will be attended by technical experts and anti-money laundering officers from central banks and regulatory authorities in the GCC and throughout the Middle East region.
The upcoming meeting will discuss the objectives of the proposed organization, its structure, tasks and membership, as well as funding arrangements.
“A proposal to set up a Middle East and North Africa FATF-Style Regional Body (MENAFSRB) is being encouraged by international organizations involved in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. The move is in line with the Kingdom’s established policy of implementing international best practice in every aspect of financial regulation, and Bahrain is prepared to host the new organisation if it is established,” said H.E. Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Finance and National Economy, and Chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Policy Committee.
H.E. Khalid Abdulla Al Bassam, Deputy Governor of the BMA, stressed that Bahrain implemented FATF’s 40 recommendations on combating money laundering.
FATF-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs) already exist in several regions, including Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Latin America and Eastern and Southern Africa. The regional groups are aimed at facilitating the adoption, implementation and enforcement of internationally accepted standards to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.