Qatar issues new law to combat money laundering Sep 12, 2019 0 844 12345 QNADohaThe Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani on Wednesday issued Law No 20 of 2019 on combating money laundering and terrorism financing.The law is effective from the day following the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.Qatar Central Bank (QCB) said the law reflects Qatar’s continued commitment to combating money laundering and terrorism financing in all its forms, in accordance with the latest international standards adopted by major international organisations including Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The law also highlights Qatar’s leading and influential role in the region in setting standards in its legal and regulatory framework for combating money laundering and terrorism financing.The new law is the result of the efforts exerted by the QCB, in cooperation with the ministries and other government agencies that are members of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee, which is responsible for protecting Qatar’s financial system from the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.The QCB said Qatar is internationally recognised for its continuous efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing crimes and that the promulgation of the new law on combating money laundering and terrorism financing would undoubtedly strengthen its position in this regard.The QCB said the new law sets out the legal requirements binding on the business and financial sectors related to combating money laundering and terrorist financing, including non-profit organisations and money transfer services.The new law also sets severe penalties for anyone who violates its provisions, it also includes financial sanctions against financial institutions, specific non-financial businesses and professions or non-profit organisations that violated the law.The law includes imprisonment for every person convicted of a crime of terrorism financing. The new law also strengthens measures related to international cooperation, where the widest possible cooperation and exchange of financial information will be provided with foreign counterparts.The QCB pointed out that the new law is an extension of the stringent legislative and regulatory initiatives issued by Qatar since 2002. In 2014, a specific law was issued to regulate the charitable work carried out by charities and institutions in the country, and in the same year another law was issued to combat cybercrime, with the aim of preventing the use of social media platforms to promote, organise or finance terrorism, the QCB said.In 2017, a legal framework on local classifications was established to identify persons and entities involved in the financing of terrorism, it said. The new law will strengthen Qatar’s leading role regionally and its international commitment to combating money laundering and terrorist financing. QCB Governor HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al Thani said the new law was the product of the continuous coordination and efforts exerted by the members of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee. In order to effectively combat money laundering and terrorism financing, a strict legal and regulatory framework should be established to define the powers and responsibilities of ministries and government agencies, he said.HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad al Thani, QCB Deputy Governor and Chairman of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee, said the exchange of financial information relevant to current and potential threats is a key element in the international community’s efforts to address money laundering and terrorist financing crimes.In this context, Qatar affirms its commitment to international cooperation and the exchange of financial information with its international partners to ensure the protection of its financial systems and global financial system from money laundering and terrorist financing, he said.He said the national committee is keen to continue its joint efforts with the international community to implement the required standards to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.The National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee was founded in 2002, with the primary function of setting up a national anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing strategy for Qatar. The committee is consisted of 15 government ministries and authorities, which work together to ensure effective implementation of Qatar’s AMT/CFT framework.The committee is also responsible for international coordination with regional and international organisations responsible for combating money laundering and terrorism financing.Qatar has issued a number of laws to criminalise activities related to money laundering and terrorist financing. Qatar is also a major contributor to the international framework by being a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), which is a global multilateral platform to promote joint cooperation, implementation and support of the United Nations Counterterrorism Strategy, as well as being a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF). Qatar was chair of MENAFATF in 2016. During its tenure as chair, Qatar launched the initiative entitled Operational Experts Forum on Terrorist Financing (OFTF).Qatar contributed $3 million to support the International Monetary Fund’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund, which aims to build capacity and provide technical assistance to other countries in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.Qatar is also supporting the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), the first global effort to support local, community-level initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremist agendas. 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