Ending a Plenary Meeting in Paris today, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that it has added another key element to global counter-terrorist financing defences. The new measure, **Special Recommendation IX**, calls on countries to stop cross-border movements of currency and monetary instruments related to terrorist financing and money laundering and confiscate such funds. It also calls for enhanced information-sharing between countries on the movement of illicit cash related to terrorist financing or money laundering. *(See below)*
FATF President Jean-Louis Fort said, *”We want to put an end to cash smuggling used to fund terrorism and criminal activities. We’re going to make it tougher to move terrorist money across borders and make it harder for terrorists to operate.”*
At an extraordinary Plenary held in Washington, D.C. in October 2001, the FATF expanded its mission beyond money laundering – announcing that it would also focus its energy and expertise on the world-wide effort to combat terrorist financing. Accordingly, by the end of that Plenary, the FATF issued its **Eight Special Recommendations**, noting that their implementation would deny terrorists and their supporters access to the international financial system.
At the Plenary ending today, FATF members also withdrew counter measures against Myanmar and Nauru, stating that these countries *”have now introduced new measures to remedy anti-money laundering deficiencies.”* Both countries, however, will remain on the organisation’s list of non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCTs) until they address remaining deficiencies and adequately implement the necessary laws. The FATF also noted and welcomed additional progress made by the Cook Islands, Indonesia and the Philippines and says it plans to visit these countries to confirm the effective implementation of their reforms.
A release from the organisation confirmed that it will continue to use the NCCT list to call on financial institutions to scrutinise transactions with persons, businesses, or banks in listed countries or territories with inadequate anti-money laundering infrastructures. Specifically, the FATF will continue to work towards ensuring that all countries implement effective anti-money laundering/counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) systems.
The current list of NCCT countries comprises Cook Islands, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nigeria and the Philippines.
**Special Recommendation IX: Cash Couriers**
Countries should have measures in place to detect the physical cross-border transportation of currency and bearer negotiable instruments, including a declaration system or other disclosure obligation.
Countries should ensure that their competent authorities have the legal authority to stop or restrain currency or bearer negotiable instruments that are suspected to be related to terrorist financing or money laundering, or that are falsely declared or disclosed.
Countries should ensure that effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions are available to deal with persons who make false declaration(s) or disclosure(s). In cases where the currency or bearer negotiable instruments are related to terrorist financing or money laundering, countries should also adopt measures, including legislative ones consistent with **Recommendation 3** and **Special Recommendation III**, which would enable the confiscation of such currency or instruments.