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FATF Hails Qatar's Efforts in Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing

Doha, May 31 (QNA) - The Mutual Evaluation Report for the State of Qatar, by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), praised the State of Qatar's efforts in combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.

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MENAFATF Elects Qatar to Co-Chair Technical Assistance Task Force

Manama, May 26 (QNA) - Middle East North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), during its 36th general meeting, which is was held in Manama, elected the State of Qatar as Co-Chair of the Technical Assistance and Applications Team for a two-year term. Secretary of the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Issa Mohammed Al Hardan is Qatar's Represent6ative in the position.

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MENAFATF Commends Qatar for Its Progress in Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing

Doha, May 25 (QNA) - Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) adopted the Mutual Evaluation Report for the State of Qatar, which reflects the level of compliance and effectiveness of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

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Money laundering is the recycling of funds resulting from illegitimate activities in legal investment fields and channels to hide the real source of these funds and make them appear as if they resulted from a legal source. Examples of such illegitimate activities include the funds resulting from drug and arm trafficking. Reverse money laundering consists of using legitimate funds in illegitimate sources such as financing terrorism operations or purchasing internationally prohibited weapons.

1. Economic risks

Depletion of national economies: The transfer of funds off-shore for laundering purposes in foreign countries leads to the deprivation of the country from funds and balances that enrich its national economy, which prevents the investment of these funds in economic and development projects that provide an income to the relevant State and individuals.

2. Social risks
The temptations provoked by money launderers lead to buy off policemen, judicial officials, and politicians in banks and financial institutions. Some fall in the traps of money launderers by ignoring money laundering operations. Such operations lead to the weakening of national foundations and the increase of organized crime, in addition to corruption and bribe.

3. Security risks and damages

ML security risks and damages consist of the following: Destabilization of security and stability: Money laundering temptations will lead some vulnerable and paid categories of persons to conduct ML operations regardless of their legitimacy and damages. The correlation between ML and other crimes, such as drugs, terrorism, illegitimate arm trafficking, violence and extremism, contributes to the destabilization of the country and negatively affect its security and stability. Such situation results in intensifying the security agencies’ efforts and increasing their expenditure on detecting crimes and new patterns and deploying more efforts to implement security and stability. In addition, it would be required to increase expenses and budgets allocated to law enforcement authorities and security agencies, to fulfill their needs for additional human resources, update the necessary equipment and techniques to confront all forms of the crime and the courts of justice requirements.

Phase I: Placement

Large amounts of illegitimate funds may be disposed of by various methods, either by placement in any bank or financial institution, or by exchanging these funds into foreign currencies, or through the purchase of luxury cars, yachts and expensive real-estates that are easy to sell and disposed of at a later stage. The placement phase is considered the hardest for those perpetrating money laundering transactions, since it can be detected, especially that it includes large amounts of money.

Phase II: Layering

The layering starts after the funds are camouflaged in the legal banking system and channels. Money launderers proceed to segregate the funds intended to be laundered from their illegitimate source through a complicated series of banking transactions which appear to be legal. The purpose of this phase is to complicate any process aiming to track the source of these illegitimate funds.

Phase III: Integration

Integration is the last phase of the money laundering process and consists of legitimizing the laundered funds. The laundered money becomes integrated in the economic cycle and the banking system as returns or regular earnings from commercial deals, such as shell companies and unreal loans. When the laundering process reaches this phase, distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate funds becomes highly difficult.