The Financial Task Force (FATF) has released its fifteenth annual report, which contains an evaluation of Saudi Arabia’s laws, regulations and systems to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. According to this evaluation: “Saudi authorities have focused heavily on systems and measures to counter terrorism and the financing of terrorism. Specifically, they have taken action to increase the requirements for financial institutions on customer due diligence, established systems for tracing and freezing terrorist assets, and tightened the regulation and transparency of charitable organizations.”
The FATF is an international organization that was established by the G-7 countries (now G-8) in 1989 for the development and promotion of policies, at both national and international levels, to recommend procedures to effectively combat money laundering and terrorist financing. These procedures are known as the FATF 40 + 8 Recommendations. According to the FATF report released today, Saudi Arabia “meets almost all of the general obligations of the FATF 40 + 8 Recommendations.”
The report by the FATF goes on to describe how “Saudi Arabia has put into force a significant set of restrictions on the financial activities of charities.” The report details the steps Saudi Arabia has taken to combat terror financing, including the arrest of a number of suspected financiers of terrorism.
According to Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Affairs Advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah: “When the FATF’s team of experts visited Saudi Arabia, they were able to witness firsthand Saudi Arabia’s serious efforts to guard against money laundering and terrorist financing. This evaluation should make it clear to all that the actions Saudi Arabia has taken are decisive and effective.”