MENAFATF 36th Plenary Manama Kingdom of Bahrain 23 -25 May 2023

The Financial Reporting Center (FRC) participated in the 36th MENAFATF plenary meeting held between 23 and 25 May 2023 in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. The Plenary was headed by Mr. Mohamed-Lemine DHEHBY, MENAFATF President, Governor of the Mauritanian Central Bank, Chairman of the Mauritanian FIU, and attended by heads of delegations and AML\CFT experts of member countries and observer countries and organizations concerned authorities in AML\CFT \CPF matters, as the FATF, UN, IMF, World Bank, and Egmont Group.

The Plenary discussed and adopted MERs for the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Republic of Lebanon and the State of Qatar, and the 3RD EFUR for the United Arab Emirates, ongoing projects such as the regional risks assessment on ML/TF, typologies report on ML\TF through legal persons and legal arrangements in the MENA region. The Plenary also adopted the Annual Report for 2022, the 5th Typologies Report 2022, and commended the outputs of the Typologies and Capacity Building Workshop, which was held in March 2023, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

It is worth noting that the Plenary was preceded by working groups’ meetings during the period of 20 to 22 May 2023, which discussed the following topics:

Mutual Evaluation Working Group :

Discussion of MERs for the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Republic of Lebanon and the State of Qatar, and the 3RD EFUR for the United Arab Emirates, and other items such as the provision and qualification of experts for the second round of the MERs, the statistics paper on the provision of experts for mutual evaluation and follow-up process, as well as the timetables for the mutual evaluation and follow-up process.

Technical Assistance and Typologies Working Group:

Discussion of training programs for 2023, priority matrix for training and technical assistance, updates on ongoing projects such as typologies project on “Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing through Legal Persons and Legal Arrangements”, Regional Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing”, and updating the “Waqf and Recommendation 25” study, and establishing an e-learning platform.

Financial Information Units Forum:

An exceptional forum was held with the presence of the Executive Secretary of the Egmont Group to understand the challenges and obstacles faced by FIUs in the region to gain an Egmont Group membership. Bilateral meetings were also held between the FIUs nominated to join the Egmont Group, their sponsors, and the Executive Secretary of the Egmont Group in the context of facilitating membership.

 Risk Committee:

The committee discussed the results of a questionnaire on challenges faced by member countries in the field of risks, technical assistance programs and training in this regard, and the Regional Risk Assessment. A panel discussion was also held on “Transparency of Beneficial Ownership- Between International Standards and Most Prominent Regional Practices”.

Operational Experts Forum on Terrorist Financing (OFTF)

A number of presentations were given for the purpose of exchanging expertise and experiences regarding disrupting terrorist financing by FATF, the Monitoring Team 1267 affiliated The United Nations, Secretariat of the Eurasian Group (EAG), the Republic of Iraq, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Joint projects with other working groups, committees, and forums were also discussed.

The Financial Reporting Center had a fruitful meeting with mobile money service providers. The purpose of the engagement was to foster collaboration between mobile money service providers and FRC to ensure compliance with #AML/#CFT Act, and Reporting obligations. pic.twitter.com/Q10N1qWKef