FATF Makes No Change in Non-Cooperative Countries and Begins Compliance with Counterterrorism Financial Enforcement

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Monday, April 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
During January 30 and February 1, 2002, the Financial Action Task Force on Anti-Money Laundering held its semi-annual meeting in Hong Kong, taking no action on its list of non-cooperative countries and making progress on its counterterrorism financial enforcement. FATF reported that the main typologies used by terrorists to move and conceal money bear striking similarity to those used by criminal organizations. One uniques facet is the use of charitable organizations to move money. Other methods included credit card fraud, the purchase of small denomination checks or bank wires, and suspect money orders. The most important aspects of the Hong Kong meeting are the start to initiative a new non-cooperative initiative against jurisdictions that do not comply with counterterrorism financial enforcement. The initiative reflects the focus by the same informal group (e.g., FATF is not even a formal international organization and has no independent personality or status in international law) that has been a pioneer of enforcing “soft law” with an expansion of its enforcement regime, notwithstanding some of the criticisms and hardships of the regime.