The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) held a 3-day joint meeting of experts this week in Doha, Qatar. The meeting was the first of this type to be held in the region. Hosted by the Qatar Central Bank and the National Anti-Money Laundering / Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Committee of Qatar, the meeting brought together more than 180 experts from 40 countries and 14 regional and international organisations to examine current methods and trends in money laundering and terrorist financing. Workshops at the meeting focussed on the following four specific areas:
- Non-profit organisations.
- Financial flows linked to illicit production and trafficking of Afghan drugs.
- Physical transportation of cash.
- Gold trade.
Increasing the understanding of money laundering / terrorist financing methods and trends is an essential foundation for addressing these problems. The workshops during the experts meeting thus allowed research in each of these areas to make significant progress on a series of relevant studies that will be published next year. The meeting also offered an opportunity for the new joint MENAFATF/FATF research initiative on the physical transportation of cash to begin its work.