MENAFATF 37th Plenary In Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania 4-5 December 2023

The Financial Reporting Center (FRC) participated in the 37th MENAFATF plenary meeting held between 4 and 5 December 2023 in Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

The Plenary was chaired by Mr. Mohamed Lamine AlDahabi, President of the MENAFATF, Governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania, Chairman of the Republic of Mauritania’s FIU. The meeting was attended by experts on AML/CFT/CPF from member countries, heads of delegations, and experts from observers of the MENAFATF.

Several strategic topics that led to an increase in the group’s effectiveness were discussed. The establishment of a technical committee on implementing targeted financial sanctions was approved. The Plenary also discussed the idea of MENA ARIN project to establish an inter-agency network for the Middle East and North Africa region to target and recover assets. The priorities of the Presidency of the Republic of Yemen for the MENAFATF for 2024 were also approved.

It is worth noting that the convened plenary meeting was precedented by a number of MENAFATF’s working groups’ meetings virtually during the period from 27 to 30 November 2023, which included the meeting of the Mutual Evaluation working group, the meeting of the Technical Assistance and Typologies working group, the Financial Intelligence Units Forum and Operational Experts Forum on Terrorist Financing. The following are the most important topics discussed in the meetings of working groups held on the sidelines of the plenary:

Mutual Evaluation and Follow-up Processes:

Several topics related to mutual evaluation and follow-up processes were discussed, including the mechanism for ensuring countries’ readiness for mutual evaluation processes and their commitment to the timetable, the criteria for arranging the group’s mutual evaluation process schedule for the upcoming third round, the countries that face the risk of not undergoing the mutual evaluation process during the current round, and the options available in this round. The special.

Technical Assistance and Typologies:

The Plenary meeting also discussed plans for training programs and introductory sessions for the year 2024, and the group’s existing projects, such as the applications project on money laundering and terrorist financing through legal persons and legal arrangements, the project to update the “Endowments and Recommendation 25” study, as well as the “Regional Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment Project.” Preparing for the typologies and capacity building workshop for the year 2024 and reviewing the e-learning platform project.

Financial Intelligence Unit’s Forum (FIUF):

The Plenary meeting reviewed the most important findings of the twenty-fifth meeting of financial information units, which included the challenges faced by member countries when joining the Egmont Group, as well as best practices related to methodologies for working on practical cases and applications related to the latest methods and trends of money laundering and terrorist financing. Regional cooperation mechanisms benefited from the experiences of observers and supporters in this field to enhance and encourage the exchange of information. Also, the Financial Information Units Forum’s work plan for 2024 was discussed.

Operational Experts Forum on Terrorist Financing (OFTF)

The most important recommendations emerging from the study of risks, methods and studies in financing terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa region and ways to enhance international and national cooperation were presented. The update on the regional assessment project for terrorist financing risks, and the outcomes of the FATF report on collective financing of terrorism and the evidence. The International Monetary Fund’s guideline on best practices to enhance the effectiveness of combating terrorist financing, and the forum’s work plan for 2024 were presented as well.

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.