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New law on combating money laundering issued QNA

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Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani issued yesterday Law No. 20 of 2019, a law on combating money laundering and terrorism financing. 
The law is effective starting from the day following the date of its publication in the official gazette.
Qatar Central Bank (QCB) announced yesterday the issuance of Law No. 20 of 2019 on combating money laundering and terrorism financing to replace combating money laundering and terrorism financing law promulgated by Law No. 4 of 2010.
The QCB said the new law reflects the State of Qatar’s continued commitment to combating money laundering and terrorism financing in all its forms, in accordance with the latest international standards adopted by major international organisations including Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The law also highlights Qatar’s leading and influential role in the region in setting standards in its legal and regulatory framework for combating money laundering and terrorism financing.
The new law is the result of the efforts exerted by the QCB, in cooperation with the ministries and other government agencies that are members of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee, which is responsible for protecting Qatar’s financial system from the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing. 
The QCB said that the State of Qatar is internationally recognised for its continuous efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing crimes and that the promulgation of the new law on combating money laundering and terrorism financing would undoubtedly strengthen its position in this regard. 
The QCB added that the new law sets out the legal requirements binding on the business and financial sectors related to combating money laundering and terrorist financing, including non-profit organisations and money transfer services. The new law also sets severe penalties for anyone who violates its provisions, it also includes financial sanctions against financial institutions, specific non-financial businesses and professions or non-profit organisations that violated the law. 

The law also includes imprisonment for every person convicted of a crime of terrorism financing. The new law also strengthens measures related to international cooperation, where the widest possible cooperation and exchange of financial information will be provided with foreign counterparts.The QCB pointed out that the new law is an extension of the stringent legislative and regulatory initiatives issued by the State of Qatar since 2002. In 2014, a specific law was issued to regulate the charitable work carried out by charities and institutions in the country, and in the same year another law was issued to combat cybercrime, with the aim of preventing the use of social media platforms to promote, organize or finance terrorism, the QCB said, adding in 2017, a legal framework on local classifications was established to identify persons and entities involved in the financing of terrorism. The new law will strengthen Qatar’s leading role regionally and its international commitment to combating money laundering and terrorist financing. 
QCB Governor H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani said the new law was the product of the continuous coordination and efforts exerted by the members of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee, thanking in this regard all members of the National Committee for their contributions to the promulgation of the new law. In order to effectively combat money laundering and terrorism financing, a strict legal and regulatory framework should be established to define the powers and responsibilities of ministries and government agencies, His Excellency said, pointing out that the new law, along with other legislations, is an effective tool to strengthen Qatar’s role in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, the QCB Deputy Governor and Chairman of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee, said the exchange of financial information relevant to current and potential threats is a key element in the international community’s efforts to address money laundering and terrorist financing crimes. In this context, Qatar affirms its commitment to international cooperation and the exchange of financial information with its international partners to ensure the protection of its financial systems and global financial system from money laundering and terrorist financing, he said.
He added the promulgation of the new law is part of Qatar’s ongoing efforts to establish an effective legal and regulatory framework for government and private institutions in the country, each within its jurisdiction, to take the necessary measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The National Committee is keen to continue its joint efforts with the international community to implement the required standards to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, thanking the members of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee and its staff and the joint task forces for their efforts in preparing this law. 
The National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Committee was founded in 2002 under Law No 28 of 2002 (as amended by Law No 4 of 2010 and Law No 20 of 2019), with the primary function of setting up a national anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing strategy for the State of Qatar. The Committee is comprised of 15 government ministries and authorities, which work together to ensure effective implementation of Qatar’s AMT/CFT framework. 
Qatar has issued a number of laws to criminalize activities related to money laundering and terrorist financing, as follows: Law No 3 of 2004 on Combating Terrorism amended by Decree Law No 11 of 2017, and Law No 20 of 2019 promulgating the law on combating money laundering and terrorism financing, which replaced the law on combating money laundering and terrorism financing promulgated by Law No 4 of 2010, Law No 14 of 2014 on combating cybercrime, and Law No 15 of 2014 on the organization of charitable works. Qatar is also a major contributor to the international framework by being a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), which is a global multilateral platform to promote joint cooperation, implementation and support of the UN Counterterrorism Strategy, as well as being a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF). Qatar was chair of MENAFATF in 2016. During its tenure as chair, Qatar launched the initiative entitled Operational Experts Forum on Terrorist Financing (OFTF). Qatar contributed $3m to support the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Multi-Donor Trust Fund, which aims to build capacity and provide technical assistance to other countries in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
 

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