The Governor of SAMA and Chairman of the Permanent Committee on Combating Money Laundering (PCCML), Dr. Ahmed A. Alkholifey, opened the workshop on the Preparation for Mutual Evaluation organized by the PCCML in cooperation with the secretariat of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the secretariat of Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) on Tuesday and Wednesday 17-18/5/1438 (14-15/2/2017) at the Institute of Finance. The workshop aims at preparing officials from authorities concerned with combating money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) for the mutual evaluation to which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be subject during 2017-2018 so as to assess its measures relating to combating ML/TF and proliferation financing (PF). Dr. Alkholifey welcomed the speakers, who were experts from FATF and MENAFATF, and the participants in the workshop for their attendance, praising their efforts to enrich the workshop which will positively support and assist competent authorities in Saudi Arabia in order to be well prepared for the mutual evaluation in the coming period.
He also commended the FATF's endeavors and keenness, since its inception, to fight against crimes of ML, TF and PF as the FATF is aware of the serious negative effects these crimes can have on international security and economy as well as capabilities, resources and safety of peoples. Thus, FATF has developed and enacted a number of general international standards, procedures and policies (FATF 40 Recommendations) to combat ML, TF and PF. In addition, Dr. Alkholifey stressed that these Recommendations represent a comprehensive and consistent framework of measures that should be applied by FATF member countries and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) in order to combat ML, TF and PF.
He also emphasized that the Kingdom is aware of the importance of evaluations made for countries and their role in enhancing efforts and actions taken by generally all countries of the world in order to protect communities and nations from ML/TF effects and to ensure effective implementation of all international standards and requirements as well as the best practices for combating these crimes. Furthermore, Dr. Alkholifey said that Saudi Arabia continuously exerts efforts to improve its legislative, institutional and technical structures for combating ML/TL in accordance with these standards and requirements.
"Saudi Arabia adopted the application of FATF Recommendations under the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 15 dated 02/05/1999, and since then, laws and regulations have been updated to keep pace with developments in the FATF Recommendations," Dr. Alkholifey said. "Saudi Arabia believes that it is crucial to protect the society and financial sector from the effects of such crimes; therefore, along with the GCC countries, it has sought to enhance the application of international standards in the region and contributed to the establishment of MENAFATF and supported it with the human resources necessary for its work to be conducted."
Dr. Alkholifey applauded the efforts of the relevant authorities and sectors in Saudi Arabia in preparation for the third mutual evaluation, which will be conducted by FATF and MENAFATF, including this workshop that aims at reviewing the evaluation procedures and requirements in details to ensure they are better understood by the relevant authorities and private sector, so as to obtain a ranking that suits the Saudi Arabia's position and matches its endeavors and support dedicated for the international community in this regard.
In conclusion, Dr. Alkholifey stressed the importance of benefiting from this workshop and the rich and significant information presented by the experts, which can help all in the next evaluation stage.