In his capacity as Vice-Chairman of the Egmont Committee and Regional Representative for the MENA region, the SIC Secretary-General attended the Egmont Group meetings, along with the director of the Financial Investigation Administrative Unit (FIAU), the director of the Compliance Unit (CU) and one staff member. This event took place in Doha, Qatar, between January 29 and February 3. The SIC Secretary-General participated in several meetings including the Egmont Committee (EC) meeting, Heads of FIUs (HoFIUs) meeting, MENA-EG members meeting, and Policy & Procedures Working Group meetings (PPWG). The director of the Compliance Unit participated in the Membership, Support, and Compliance Working Group meetings (MSCWG), and the director of the Financial Investigation Administrative Unit participated in the Technical Assistance and Training Working Group meetings (TATWG) including the ECOFEL project team session, a project that will be AML/CFT based with a primary focus on anti-corruption (AC). Also, one staff member participated in the Information Exchange on ML/FT Working Group meeting (IEWG).
The SIC Secretary-General was a guest speaker at the 11th MENA Regulatory Summit in Dubai, organized by Thomson Reuters in association with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) on February 5-6. In his address on the ongoing fight against financial crime, he discussed several subjects including the international anti-financial crime trends and their impact on the MENA region, and beneficial ownership. A number of regional and international financial practitioners attended this event.
The SIC Secretary-General, in his capacity as the regional representative for the MENA region, along with the director of the Compliance Unit, attended as members of the MENAFATF delegation the FATF Plenary and Working Groups Meetings that took place in Paris between February 19-24. In the margins of the said Plenary, several meetings were held; the Global Network Coordination Group (GNCG) meeting, the Evaluations and Compliance Group (ECG) meeting, the Policy Development Group (PDG) meeting, the Risks, Trends and Methods Group (RTMG) meeting, and the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) meeting.
The SIC Secretary-General, Mr. Abdul-Hafiz Mansour, along with the Head of the Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Bureau of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), Lieutenant-Colonel Suzanne El Hajj, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, Mr. Faisal Abou Zaki, held a Press Conference on February 17 in Banque du Liban premises, to highlight a set of recommendations issued at the 2nd Anti-Cybercrime Forum that took place in November 2016. Among other topics, calling for the concerned authorities to pass on the related legislations to electronic transactions and identification, calling for the financial sector to adopt the two Guide manuals that entail guidelines for Banks, Financial Institutions and Individuals, to prevent cybercrimes through emails and thus raising awareness, also, strengthen the relationship with correspondent banks and cooperate with them to combat cybercrime.
The director of the SIC Compliance Unit attended a meeting on the EU-Lebanon Dialogue on Fighting Terrorism hosted by the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the EU Counter-Terrorism office on February 27. This meeting, attended by the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and other high profile CT practitioners, aimed at discussing the development of a national strategic framework to combat terrorism.
Two SIC staff members attended the EU-Lebanese Counter Terrorism Strategy Development workshop held in Beirut, at the national training center ‘École Nationale d’Administration’ (ENA) on February 20-24. This workshop, part of the EU/MENA Counter Terrorism Partnership Project, was organized by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This project, funded by the European Union, aims at developing a national strategic framework to combat terrorism. A set of recommendations were issued to address the threats and risks of terrorism, and deliver the objectives of the national strategic framework. A number of representatives from law enforcement and judicial authorities, counter-terrorism experts from the European Union and Lebanon, along with a number of political figures participated in this workshop. The said participants will further discuss the recommendations at a high-level meeting that will take place on March 2nd.
On February 10th the parliament passed Law 28, concerning the right to access to information. In this regard, one SIC staff member attended a roundtable discussion on the national framework to implement this law and its provisions in regard to fighting corruption, held in the Parliament on February 17. A number of parliamentarians called for this meeting that was attended by ministers and representatives of public authorities, UN agencies, and legal practitioners.
Two SIC staff members participated, as trainers, in a training-seminar dedicated to a number of representatives from money dealers houses and exchange bureaux, organized by the Training Department of the Central Bank on February 8th. In their presentation, they addressed the Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) laws and regulations, and the related measures in this respect.