The 14th MENAFATF plenary meeting was held in the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria from 28 to 30 November 2011. The meeting was chaired by the Algerian Republic, represented by Mr. Abdenour Hibouche, President of Cellule de Traitement du Renseignement Financier (CTRF); The meeting was inaugurated by H.E. Karim Djoudi, Minister of Finance in Algeria – and hosted by the Cellule de Traitement du Renseignement Financier (CTRF).
A large number of AML/CFT experts participated in the Plenary meeting, representing MENAFATF member countries (Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Yemen), in addition to observer countries and organizations (Palestine, France, USA, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Gulf Cooperation Council, Financial Action Task Force, Arab Monetary Fund and Eurasian Group).
The 14th Plenary sessions included a number of important events and discussed a series of subjects related to the MENAFATF work and activities. The plenary meeting issued the following decisions:
1) The United Nations joins the MENAFATF
The 14th plenary meeting approved on granting the United Nations an observer seat with the MENAFATF; which would enhance the cooperation with the United Nations bodies and organs and enable it to participate in MENAFATF activities, particularly the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Monitoring Team established by the SC/RES/1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED).
2) MENAFATF 2012 Work Plan
The plenary meeting adopted the work plan for 2012.
3) Follow-up reports:
Within the framework of the follow up process for the mutual evaluation processes, the 14th Plenary meeting has adopted 5 follow-up reports for the following countries: Lebanese Republic, Republic of Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, State of Qatar and Kingdom of Bahrain. The reports revealed the progress made by such countries in developing their AML/CFT regimes according to the plan established for that purpose in their MERs adopted between 2006 and 2009.
4) Typologies report on “Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Money Laundering:
The plenary meeting adopted the typologies report on “Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Money Laundering, submitted and recommended by the TATWG; the report was prepared by the Typologies Experts Group in the MENAFATF countries. The report reached a number of recommendations that aim at enhancing the combating process against illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and the ML crime.
5) Working Groups:
The Plenary adopted the Mutual Evaluation Working Group (MEWG) Chair report, which included recommendations the MEWG has reached in its meeting held on Sunday 27 November 2011 on the margin of the 14th Plenary meeting in relation to:
- Adopting the paper on enhancing the follow up process.
- Studying FATF’s ICRG process.
- Study on the applicability of R.34 to Wakf
- Adopting the timeline of ME process.
- Adopting the timeline of 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.
- Adopting the proposal on assessing MENAFATF’s policies vis-à-vis ME.
Moreover, the Plenary adopted the Technical Assistance and Typologies Working Group (TATWG) Chair report, which included recommendations the TATWG has reached in its meeting held on Sunday 27 November 2011 on the margin of the 14th MENAFATF Plenary in relation to:
- Typologies project on “Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Money Laundering”.
- Draft TATWG mandate.
- MENAFATF Training Plan for the years 2012 – 2014.
- Holding the following events: Workshop entitled: "A Seminar for Prosecution Authorities and the Judiciary", "A Regional Conference Entitled “Cross- Border Cash Movement: Challenges, Detection, and Combating”, and “Towards a good governance of the NPOs sector and compliance with FATF SR VIII”.
- “Tactical Analysis Course” in cooperation with the World Bank and the Special Investigation Commission (Lebanon’s FIU), first quarter of 2012.
- Second phase of Joint Workshop with the WB for Training Banking Supervisors on AML/CFT Compliance Supervision.
- 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.
6) 4th MENAFATF Financial Intelligence Units Forum
The 4th MENAFATF FIUs forum was held on Saturday 26 November 2011 on the margin of the 14th plenary meeting; 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 on the Best Practices made by 4 FIUs on “FIU cooperation with local counterparts”.
- The mechanisms proposed by the sub-committee to build and promote FIU’s capacities.
- Putting in place mechanisms of cooperation with other Working Groups within the MENAFATF.
7) Next Plenary Meeting:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represented by Dr. Abdulrahman A. Alkalaf, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) Deputy Governor for Technical Affairs will chair the MENAFATF in 2012. While the Republic of Sudan represented by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice and President of the Administrative Committee for combating ML crimes, Esam- Eddin Abdul-GadIr Al-Zain will be the vice president. The 15th MENAFATF plenary meeting will be held in May 2012 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.