H.E. Governor of the PMA Azzam Shawwa met today with William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and an accompanying delegation. The meeting was also attended by Assistant to the Governor for Financial Stability Affairs, Dr. Riyad Abu Shehadeh, Deputy Director of the the Financial Follow-Up Unit (FFU), Dr. Firas Marrar; Head of Legal Affairs Division at FFU. Abdalrahman Al-Akhras and PMA Legal Counsel, Karim Shehadeh.
Governor Shawwa briefed Mr. Brownfield on the efforts made by the PMA and the FFU to enforce the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Law in Palestine through a series of supervisory instructions. These instructions have been issued pursuant to the Law of 2007 and the Law as amended in 2015, prepared in line with the UN model legislation and relevant international conventions.
Governor Shawwa assured that both the PMA and the FFU will continue to put in place supervisory measures to counter money laundering and terrorism financing; raise community awareness; upgrade AML systems and procedures in Palestine and enact frameworks of local cooperation with competent authorities. Such measures, he added, are intended to safeguard the Palestinian society against the economic and social repercussions of this crime as well as protect the Palestinian banking system’s financial relations with the rest of the world.
From his side, Mr. Brownfield conveyed US side’s readiness to strengthen mutual cooperation with the PMA and the FFU in order to promote the work of the FFU in combating the crimes of money-laundering and terrorism financing in such a manner that it complies with international standards. In that regard, he commended the PMA and its efforts to advance the Palestinian banking sector and maintain its stability.
Deputy Director of the Financial Follow-Up Unit (FFU), Dr. Firas Marrar, delivered a presentation on the project for National Assessment of Risks of Money-Laundering and Terrorism Financing and the latest operational advances of Unit. He pointed out the FFU is currently seeking membership of the EGMONT Group; the group of global Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). He affirmed the Unit’s compliance to the standards of the MENA FATF “Financial Action Task Force”, which it joined as full member in 2015.