Measuring Qatar's compliance with international standards on money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism
Purpose: Under scrutiny in light of the growing threat of international terrorism, Qatar faces pressure and accusations that it is not doing enough to counter terror financing and clamp down money laundering. The issue is not that Qatar is avoiding positive action, but that by the time measures are implemented, they become outdated because the international community has by then tightened its regulatory requirements. Qatar's slow pace has led to a case of cat-and-mouse chase with respect to updating its standards, with a revised set of rules being required by the time Qatar implements the last set of international standards. This study aims to draw on lessons from the past to help Qatar avoid findings of it falling below international standards in the upcoming 2017 mutual evaluation. Design/methodology/approach: The primary purpose of this article is to catalogue Qatar's efforts to comply with international anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terror finance standards. It demonstrates the real legislative progress post-2008 recorded by Qatar to minimize money laundering and terrorist financing. The paper also contests the view that Qatari law is insufficient. Findings: The paper explains Qatar's efforts to comply with the recommendations made by each evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It also highlights the potential for Qatar to be caught out again by the evolution of international expectations in an upcoming review, which, it is understood, is likely to take place in 2017. Originality/value: No article exists specifically on this research field. As Qatar prepares for its 2017 FATF evaluation, it should be reminded of the need to comply with all new standards.
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