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Morocco success against money laundering and terrorism financing

Hassan Alaoui Abdellaoui

Hassan Alaoui Abdellaoui

Morocco’s efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing are seeing positive results.

 

The inter-governmental Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force a fortnight ago removed Morocco from its list of countries requiring a follow-up process.

 

The organisation’s parent body had already removed Morocco from its blacklist, hailing the kingdom’s “significant progress” in the fight against money laundering and the funding of terrorism.

Affirming that the country has made great strides over the past few years,  the president of the Morocco’s Financial Intelligence Handling Unit UTRF Hassan Alaoui Abdellaoui said that “the UTRF will be able to speed up the pace of its work, especially in terms of strengthening the legal arsenal necessary to bring the national system for tackling terrorism financing into line with international recommendations.”

 

UTRF  acts on domestic reports of suspicious activity. It also receives requests from international authorities to freeze assets of parties linked to terrorism offences.

 

Morocco’s intelligence-sharing with other countries has also expanded, the UTRF says.

 

The number of shared pieces of intelligence rose from just one in 2009 to 120 in 2012. Europe is the biggest requester of intelligence, followed by the Middle East and North Africa.

 

Morocco has also amended its law on money laundering to address the issue of terrorism financing.

 

Under the 2013 amendment, the funding of terrorism is itself considered an act of terrorism, even when committed outside Morocco’s borders and regardless of whether the money is actually spent.