Author: Dr. Angelika Hellweger
21 June 2023
2 min read
Angelika Hellweger of Rahman Ravelli details the Financial Action Task Force’s assessment of Qatar’s attempts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has recently published its mutual evaluation report on Qatar. This report assesses the effectiveness of Qatar's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML / CTF) measures in relation to compliance with FATF's 40 recommendations.
Qatar has won praise for the progress it made in its AML measures and its commitment to strengthening its legal and institutional framework at a national level. The fact that Qatar promotes cooperation and coordination when it comes to its financial intelligence unit (QFIU), its regulatory authorities and its law enforcement agencies was assessed positively. However, FATF has said that further progress is necessary to improve Qatar’s overall system for mutual legal assistance and extradition. But it also said that Qatar has made “positive and sustained progress” in amassing beneficial ownership information for its nearly complete unified register — a consolidation of data relating to its citizens.
The FATF report states that although Qatar’s QFIU is well-equipped, its sophisticated analytical capabilities are not being used fully. It was noted that the Qatari AML framework has not been tested in court and that Qatar has only secured a small number of terrorist financing convictions and prosecutions. There are allegedly major inconsistencies between Qatar’s risk profile and the type and extent of terrorist financing activity prosecuted and convicted. The report also recommended improvements regarding the supervision of non-financial sectors, such as real estate, precious metals and designated non-financial businesses and professions.
Although Qatar banned crypto in 2019, FATF suggests that this ban has not been effectively enforced. The report says Qatar had “not demonstrated that the competent authorities proactively identify and take enforcement action for potential breaches of this prohibition.” But FATF did accept that between 2020 and June 2022, 2007 transactions were rejected and 43 accounts were closed. Qatar is also effectively confiscating significant sums of money and property that are judged to be the proceeds of financial crime and has a targeted national strategy to confiscate all proceeds of crime and assets from higher-risk threats.
In order to boost Qatar’s AML / CTF measures and ensure improvements, FATF has proposed:
Angelika is a specialist in international, high-level economic crime investigations and large-scale commercial disputes. She has widely-recognised expertise in representing corporates and conglomerates in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and United States.