The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concluded its Plenary meeting in Paris today. The plenary and several working group and other associated meetings were attended by over 400 delegates representing 34 countries and 21 international organisations.
A Chairman’s Summary has been released, noting:
• The FATF will be publishing Guidance for the private sector and governments on a risk-basked approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing *(see below)*
• The plenary adopted FATF reports assessing the AML/CFT systems for compliance with global standards for China, Greece, and the United Kingdom
• Two studies of AML/CFT methods and vulnerabilities will be released *(see below)*
• China has joined the FATF
• The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) has become an associate member of the FATF
• New FATF President welcomed: Mr. James Sassoon of the United Kingdom. Brazil will hold the Presidency for 2008-2009
**Risk-Based Approach Guidance – AML/CFT**
The FATF and representatives of the financial sector have been active in considering ways in which the risk-based approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing may be applied. As a result of these efforts, the FATF is publishing Guidance relating to the risk-based approach. The Guidance contains several elements:
(1) An outline of the FATF standards and the risk-based approach; the benefits and challenges of implementing a risk-based approach.
(2) Guidance for the public sector.
(3) Guidance for financial institutions in implementing the risk-based approach.
In addition to outlining the key elements of an effective risk-based approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing, the Guidance provides a framework of high level principles and procedures for governments and financial institutions to consider when developing and implementing such a regime.
This is the first time guidance has been produced jointly by the FATF and the private sector. The FATF President expressed his thanks to the private sector representatives for their valuable input to this and other work undertaken with the FATF during the year.
**AML/CFT Methods – Studies**
The FATF will be issuing two reports on money laundering and terrorist financing methods and vulnerabilities in specific sectors. This is part of the FATF’s ongoing commitment to explore methods used by money launderers and terrorist financiers.
The report on **Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing through the Real Estate Sector** examines the vulnerabilities of the real estate sector to misuse for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes. This is the first FATF in-depth study to deal with this issue. It identifies the most common money laundering methods that are associated with real estate operations, investment and financing. This project found some evidence that these same methods have been used for suspected terrorist financing schemes.
The second report focuses on **Laundering the Proceeds of Illegal Drug Trafficking in the Eurasian region**. This project was led by the Eurasian Group (EAG) on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism as part of this year’s typologies exercise held jointly by the FATF and the EAG. The report describes some of the most common money laundering techniques associated with this criminal activity. Its focus on the Central Asian region provides a unique view on the money laundering activity prevalent in this region and, as such, fills in an important information gap on one of the criminal threats facing this region of the world.