(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Qatar ranks second among GCC states with the lowest risk of money laundering and terrorism financing crimes, Central Bank Deputy Governor Sheikh Fahad bin Faisal al-Thani said yesterday.
Sheikh Fahad made the announcement during a keynote address at the MenaFATF/EAG Joint Typologies and Capacity Building Workshop led by the Middle East & North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MenaFATF) and Eurasian Group (EAG) on combating money laundering and financing terrorism.
The typologies or techniques used to launder money or finance terrorism that would be tackled in the workshop include "Money laundering through physical transport of cash," "Illicit financial flows and the use of AML/CFT tools to combat corruption," and "Risks and threats of money laundering from cybercrimes." Citing the 2014 Basel AML Index of the Basel Institute of Governance, Sheikh Fahad said Qatar scored 4.96 points from a scale of 0 (low risk) to 10 (high risk) and a global ranking of 37 out of 162 countries.
In the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) region, Qatar was trailing behind Oman, which scored 4.76 points with a global ranking of 29. Other low-risk Arab countries include Bahrain (5.57 points, rank 69), Saudi Arabia (5.66, 76), Kuwait (6.14, 96) and UAE (6.33, 103).
On the other hand, the top 10 highest risk countries in the 2014 Basel AML Index are Iran (8.56), Afghanistan (8.53) Cambodia (8.39), Tajikistan (8.34), Guinea-Bissau (8.25), Iraq (8.22), Mali (8.06), Swaziland (7.92), Mozambique (7.92) and Myanmar (7.89).
According to Sheikh Fahad, 2014 witnessed "serious security developments," particularly the growth of terrorism in neighbouring countries and the emergence of new schemes in money laundering and terrorism financing.
This, he added, prompted the global community to adopt international resolutions "to address this growing phenomenon and to dry its resources."
Data from the US Department of State showed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank estimate that $2.17tn to $3.61tn, or 3% to 5% of the total global GDP, is laundered annually.
Sheikh Fahad noted that Qatar's achievements in AML/CFT was the result of the development of a National AML/CFT strategy by the National AML and Terrorism Financing Committee with the support of the IMF.
"Likewise, we have updated the action plans of the relevant government and non-government agencies in order to promote the effectiveness of the AML/CFT regimes in line with the comprehensive risk-based approach," he said.
The deputy governor emphasised that Qatar was keen in joining the international community in combating transnational organised crime. The country, he added, has "expressed its full support" to the recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering.
"Qatar also supports the projects proposed by the US during the FATF plenary meeting held in Paris in October 2014, which aims to study the sources of funding of terrorist organisations through a joint team headed by the US and Turkey," he said.
In April 2009, Sheikh Fahad said Qatar joined several donor countries in establishing the IMF Topical Trust Fund (TTF), which was aimed at providing the international community with technical assistance in the field of AML/CFT.
"Qatar continues to provide strong support to the TTF in its second phase for 2014 to 2019 after the major success achieved by the project in its first phase, which was translated in the completion of several projects that promoted AML/CFT regimes in many countries around the world," he noted.
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