[size=36]The Central Bank: Iraq has taken a series of corrective measures for the anti-money laundering system[/size]
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The Central Bank's Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Council confirmed today, Friday, that Iraq has taken a series of corrective measures for the anti-money laundering system, noting that government measures contributed to the country's exit from the European Union's list of high-risk countries.
In a statement received by Mawazine News, the Council stated that "Iraq announces its readiness to start the mutual evaluation process that is being held by the Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa, where the date for the field visit of experts has been set within the timetable prepared by the group above. During the month of August 2023.
He added, "A meeting was held with a high-level representation of all concerned parties in the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing system, headed by the Chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Council, the Governor of the Central Bank, in addition to the support of the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Iraqi Judicial Council for this important file, with (Johar Al-Nafisi). - Head of the Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa / MENAFATF) as well as (Selman Al-Jabreen - Executive Secretary of the group), for the purpose of showing the extent of Iraq's commitment to supporting the international assessment process of the Republic of Iraq in this aspect.
He pointed out, that "The Chairman of the Council outlined the measures taken by Iraq during the previous period, which led to Iraq’s official exit from the status of enhanced follow-up to the usual follow-up or the so-called (updating every two years), and since the Republic of Iraq underwent the first joint evaluation process during 2012 to evaluate the anti-laundering system Funds and the financing of terrorism that were operating in accordance with the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Law No. 93 of 2004 (in force at the time and currently repealed), and based on the results and outputs of the evaluation report submitted by the resident experts at the time, the Republic of Iraq was included in the gray list as a result of identifying strategic shortcomings in those The system, and as a consequence, Iraq has taken a series of corrective measures to combat money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation to ensure its compliance with international standards and recommendations, in light of the action plan and follow-up with the International Review Team of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in addition to some requirementsfor the purpose of combating these crimes.
He added that "those procedures began with the issuance of the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law No. 39 of 2015 in force), which is considered one of the latest laws in the region and in compliance with international standards, in addition to the issuance of many regulations, instructions, controls, circulars and relevant guides," noting that "the Republic of Iraq presented To the general meetings of the group (9) reports during the period between 2013-2018, which included the intensive procedures and efforts that were made in order to fulfill the identified shortcomings towards the system.
He noted that "after discussing the above reports and completing the work plan and follow-up with the international review team with the FATF, these efforts culminated and the field visit was achieved during June 2018 with Iraq's official exit from the enhanced follow-up status to the regular follow-up or the so-called (update every two years), especially after If we have a solid legislative base and we have identified the regulatory and supervisory authorities for each of the sectors within that system, for the purpose of exercising their roles in controlling and supervising the related activities and following up on the compliance of the entities subject to their control and supervision to the above law and the relevant controls, and how to tighten oversight in a way that contributes to the monitoring of activities Suspicious financial affairs and reporting this to the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Office on the one hand, and on the other hand, developing capabilities in a way that enhances the increase in the number of suspicious reports submitted to the Public Prosecution and support the investigative and judicial authorities to prove whether or not money laundering and terrorist financing suspicions.
He pointed out that "during the years from 2019-2020, work was done to take the necessary measures that demonstrate the commitment of the Republic of Iraq to the forty recommendations issued by the FATF, which culminated during early 2022 with Iraq's exit from the European Union's list of high-risk countries."
He stressed that, "After that, to ensure adherence to the first recommendation of the recommendations and the importance of the subject, we worked to complete our procedures in the first national assessment of the risks of the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing system, by arriving at identifying each of (weaknesses and threats) at the various legislative and operational levels, and we did not stop there. Rather, a corrective action plan has been formulated and a prioritization has been formulated in line with the results of the assessment, and we will work to update our national strategy to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in light of those results.”
He pointed out that "the Financial Action Group (MENAFATF) has identified the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Council (as the national coordinating body) for the mutual evaluation process, and there is full support from the Iraqi government, in addition to identifying the national coordinator and a substitute for him, and a technical team has been formed from all concerned parties. They were also given all powers and support to complete this project, as the team will work to meet all the requirements of the mutual evaluation related to the two aspects (technical commitment and effectiveness evaluation) and prepare all logistical matters for the visit of the resident expert team to Iraq during 2023 and until the report is discussed in the plenary session. /h