FATF executive secretary Patrick Moulette told news agency Reuters that a political mandate for the task force would be ‘fleshed out’ at the talks, adding that it was ‘awaiting clarification’ on its mission and objectives.
The FATF has traditionally operated in a monitoring, information gathering and advisory capacity, but the change in focus following consultation with the G7, in the wake of the World Trade Centre and Pentagon terrorist attacks, which are believed to have been funded through various financial centres and banking institutions.
‘We will probably have to beef up on the intelligence side,’ Moulette told the news agency. Up until now, the FATF is thought to have focused predominantly on the extent to which lax practices encourage the recycling of Mafia money.
He added: ‘Not all FATF member countries have anti-terrorism clauses in their legislation on money laundering,’ and pointed to greater cooperation with the CIA and FBI in all member countries.
Also at the meeting, money-laundering experts from 30 member countries are expected to be given greater powers to fight terrorism.
Meanwhile, incoming FATF president Jochen Sanio told the FT that a ‘rethink’ of the task force was required if it was to stop the international flow of terrorist funds.
He said the FATF would need a bigger budget and tough powers to impose sanctions on countries that did not comply with its rulings.
Sanio announced plans for an emergency meeting in the next few weeks to discuss antiterrorism measures and their integration into the agency’s guidelines.
A spokesperson for the FATF told AccountancyAge.com the focus on money laundering in relation to terrorist activities would be discussed at the meeting, but said it was ‘impossible to presuppose’ what the outcome would be.
But she confirmed the FATF’s commitment to the fight, saying it was ‘the world’s foremost authority on money laundering’.
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