Thursday, 23 November, 2017
 

International Cooperation

International cooperation for management of financial investigations

Efforts of the Kingdom of Bahrain in combating money laundering and financing of terrorism represented in its membership in international organizations as follows:
  • The Kingdom of Bahrain joined membership of Egmont group in 2003
  • The Kingdom of Bahrain was admitted under the umbrella of the general secretariat of Cooperation Council of Gulf Countries in attendance of (FAFT) meetings.
  • The Kingdom of Bahrain joined membership of (MENAFATF) since 2005.

Egmont group

In 1995, a number of officials of financial intelligence units convened in Egmont palace, Arenberg, Belgium, to work as a group to provide support and develop it for the various participating units in connection to the program of fighting money laundering operations.

This support involves expansion and organization of financial intelligence information exchange, developing experiences and capabilities of the working staff and enhancing means of communications between units through usage of information technology.

A- Goals of the Group:

  • Increase efficiency of financial intelligence units
  • Enhance communication and international coordination
  • Encourage establishment of financial intelligence units wherever possible

B- Benefits of the Group:

  • The member is a decision maker.
  • Participation in activities of the working groups.
  • Right to access the secured website of the group on the internet
  • The member can participate in training programs provided by the group

C- Placing the financial intelligence unit in the organizational structure:


The unit is affiliated to a certain agency where these agencies are different in different countries, but most intelligence units in the world are affiliated to one of the following authorities:
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Justice or Public Prosecution
  • Ministry of Interior
  • The Central Bank
In addition to supervision of several other authorities.

D- Nomenclature of the unit:

Countries differ in nomenclature of the units where some name it the Financial Intelligence Unit, Financial Investigation Unit, Money Laundering Crimes Combat Unit, or Financial Inquiry Unit.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is one of only seven Arab countries holding the membership of Egmont group, namely: Kingdom of Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Lebanon, State of Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Republic of Syria.

The Kingdom of Bahrain represents itself before the group and its role is apparent in achieving the aforementioned goals of the group in order to facilitate information exchange between it and the remaining members and to provide access to the group through websites and the other communications.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The international Committee of Money Laundering Combat is a private agency established independently and works to consolidate the efforts in order to fight money laundering. It was constituted within the framework of the European countries summit held in 1989 and the headquarters of its secretariat is located at premises of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. It was established based on full political and diplomatic support from the United States of America and its large western allies, but its orientation is global.

Its membership includes representatives from the Group of seven countries: Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and USA, in addition to the European Community and other four European countries, namely: Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia. Another large campaign led to accession of other seven members: Finland, Norway, Turkey, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore. Some Arab countries also joined the membership.

Thus, these foundations started to take the right path where a global campaign was launched that aimed at convincing the banks that they must be committed to the international standards otherwise they will be vulnerable to be blacklisted.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) adopted the forty revised recommendations (the international criteria in fighting money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons) in lieu of the former forty recommendations and the special nine recommendations.

No doubt, the Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the committee members as a result of its remarkable efforts in establishing and setting up policies of prohibiting and fighting occurrence of money laundering crimes.

It is worth mentioning that the general secretariat of the GCC represents the Kingdom of Bahrain and the remaining Gulf Council countries in (FATF).

Middle East & North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)

Recognizing the risks associated with money laundering and financing of terrorism operations in countries of the Middle East and North Africa, and considering that these risks can be overcome effectively through cooperation among countries of the region, and to remind about the procedures taken by the United Nations in connection to money laundering and financing of terrorism.

And in acknowledgement of the forty recommendations set up by the Financial Action Task Force regarding money laundering, the countries of the Middle East and North Africa must work together to adhere to these criteria and measures in order to support money laundering and financing of terrorism in the region by establishing an effective system which the member states of the group must implement in accordance with their cultural values, constitutional frameworks and legal systems.

On 30 November 2004, a ministerial meeting was convened in Manama, in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The governments of 14 Arab states decided to establish the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) in order to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism, operating along the lines of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It was agreed that the headquarters of the new agency is the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) has a voluntary and cooperative nature and was established through agreement among its members where actually, it does not stem from an international treaty. It is also independent from any other international agency or organization and it identifies its work, systems, and procedures by itself. The work, systems and procedures of MENAFATF are determined through the consensus of its members but it also cooperates with the other international organizations especially the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to achieve its goals.

It goes without saying that the Kingdom of Bahrain represents itself before MENAFATF. Additionally, the role of Bahrain is focused on achieving the goals of the group, communication with the remaining member states and exchange of information.

Goals of the organization:

The member states of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) agree on the following goals and work to achieve them:

Adoption and implementation of the forty revised recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on combating money laundering.
  • Enforcement of the United Nations treaties and conventions related to the subject matter, as well as resolutions of the United Nations Security Council concerned with combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and cooperation together to enhance commitment to these criteria and procedures in the Middle East and North Africa, and work with the other international organizations to support adherence to these criteria and procedures worldwide.
  • Work side by side to identify the subjects related to money laundering and financing of terrorism having a regional nature, exchange information about these issues, develop regional solutions to address them and take effective measures throughout the region to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism in an effective manner in accordance with the cultural values of the member states and their constitutional frameworks and legal systems.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is responsible for the remaining work groups and committees, and therefore, it is considered as the mother committee and the general secretariat represents us and also represents the remaining states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

 
 

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