Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to combating financial crime, Adel Al-Qulish, vice chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Permanent Committee told a workshop organized in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Riyadh on Sunday.
Money laundering, terrorism funding and arms proliferation were a particular priority, he said.
The Kingdom was building its capacity to develop legislative, institutional and professional measures to fight money laundering, arms proliferation and terrorism funding in accordance with international standards and requirements issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and best international practices.
Al-Qulish thanked the IMF for its cooperation in organizing the event, and participants from relevant authorities in the Kingdom and members of the committee.
He said that the Kingdom had ensured all authorities were aware of the importance of their role by committing to related systems, standards and instructions, applying policies and procedures and working on promoting a risk-based approach aimed at understanding threats and weaknesses to become more effective in discovering, preventing and monitoring operations and reporting suspicious activities.
Royal approval on adopting the national strategic objectives is a clear message that the Saudi government is developing the policies and working methods of relevant authorities, improving international procedures and creating integrated mechanisms that support and promote coherence among authorities.
Al-Qulish said that the Kingdom had recently witnessed a mutual assessment process — conducted by FATF and the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (MENAFATF) experts — of the systems, procedures and efforts deployed in combating money laundering, terrorism funding and arms proliferation.
The Kingdom’s initiative to support and develop a technical assistance fund for the programs combating money laundering and terrorism funding under the umbrella of the IMF was based on its belief in the important role of the IMF. The initiative was an extension of local, regional and international efforts exerted by the Kingdom. It also highlighted the Kingdom’s support of the efforts of the international community in this area.