A global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog has called on Qatar to make significant improvements to its response to terrorist financing. According to a report released by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Qatar needs to understand more complex forms of money laundering and terrorist financing and establish more controls to combat these issues. The report summarised anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures from an on-site visit from June 19 to July 7, 2022.
Qatar’s Overall Understanding of Risks
The watchdog did acknowledge that Qatar has a good overall understanding of money laundering and terrorism risks at the national level. However, it also said that more work is necessary to ensure that law enforcement and supervisors are implementing these reforms, particularly in relation to Qatar’s judicial system.
Improving Investigations into Money Laundering
Qatar has seen an increase in money laundering cases being investigated. However, the watchdog noted that the total number of prosecutions remains low overall, and that authorities need to continue improving their investigations to identify the role Qatar may play in broader, complex or professional money laundering schemes and networks. Nevertheless, authorities are well-equipped and aware of the current risks and are continually improving their abilities to pursue money laundering.
Global Call for Action
FATF President, Raja Kumar, called on the G-7 to put an end to lawless spaces and to take the lead in regulating cryptocurrencies. Kumar urged finance ministers from the world’s seven most influential economies to implement recommendations from the FATF, including going after money laundering and terrorist financing. This also includes the travel rule, which requires crypto service providers to share certain information about transactions to prevent misuse by criminals and terrorists.
Overall, the report highlights the need for Qatar to continue to improve its response to terrorist financing and money laundering. While progress has been made, there is still work to be done, particularly in relation to Qatar’s judicial system. The global call for action from the FATF highlights the need for countries around the world to take this issue seriously and work together to combat these crimes.