Israel has been selected to join an elite global task force for combating terror financing and money-laundering, the Justice Ministry announced on Monday, according to jpost.com.
Joining the group boosts Israel’s attractiveness for investments and increases the cooperation and legal assistance that Israel can expect from other countries, the ministry said.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the ministers of a number of countries, mainly led by the G-7, committed to fighting the increased global terror financing and money-laundering problem, which was stumping authorities absent elevated inter-state cooperation.
Explaining its objectives, the FATF says it sets “standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. “
In other words, “the FATF is…a ‘policy-making body’ which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.”
During a 2015 visit to Israel, then-FATF President Je-Yoon Shin explained that the FATF had selected Israel as a strong new potential member to join the group “in light of the great contribution that it has to make to the organization” particular in terms of Israel’s “strategic geographic and cultural” connections within the Middle East.
Shin had complimented Israel on its “continued improvements” in combating terror financing and money-laundering in recent years.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who met with Shin’s delegation, stated at the time that, “the State of Israel is committed to take its part in the global struggle against money-laundering and terror financing as is clear from the substantial improvement that has taken place in these areas” of law enforcement in Israel.
She added, “I was happy to hear from the delegates that they see Israel as a global standout source of knowledge and expertise in” these areas.
Dr. Shlomit Wegman-Rotner, acting head of the Authority Prohibiting Money-Laundering and Terror Financing, said in 2015 that she saw the future selection of Israel to join the group as an event of “tremendous importance” in helping influence the global fight on the issue.
The selection culminated a process beginning with what the Justice Ministry called a rare potential invitation in 2014.