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Sri Lanka Financial Intelligence Unit signs MOU with Bahrain counterpart 

June 22, Colombo (LNW): The Financial Intelligence Unit of Sri Lanka (FIU-Sri Lanka) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Financial Intelligence National Centre of the Kingdom of Bahrain (FINC-Bahrain).

With the signing of this MoU, the FIU-Sri Lanka has entered into MoUs with 45 foreign counterparts for sharing of information for intelligence purposes.

FIU-Sri Lanka Director Dr. Subhani Keerthiratne and FINC-Bahrain Chief Executive Shaikha May Bint Mohamed Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa signed the MoU on behalf of the respective institutions.

The MoU was signed on 4 June, at the 30th Plenary of the Egmont Group, held in Paris, France to exchange financial intelligence related to money laundering (ML) and associated predicate offences, and in relation to terrorist financing (TF) offence.

This MoU has been entered into by the FIU-Sri Lanka, in terms of the provisions of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, No. 6 of 2006.

The Financial Intelligence Units across the world enter into MoUs to cooperate with their global counterparts through exchange of information, in order to combat ML/TF, which are more often internationally connected and emanating from widespread criminal activities. 

The FINC-Bahrain serves as the Kingdom of Bahrain’s central hub for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information regarding ML/TF. 

The FIU-Sri Lanka also functions as the focal point for Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework for Sri Lanka and collects, analyses and disseminates information on suspicious financial transactions relating to ML/TF or any other unlawful activities.

The Kingdom of Bahrain has the foundation for an effective regime to combat money laundering and terrorist finance, but needs to further develop its measures based on risk.

The FATF and the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) jointly conducted an assessment of Bahrain’s AML/CFT system, based on the 2012 FATF Recommendations, and using the 2013 Methodology. 

The assessment is a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of Bahrain’s AML/CFT system and its level of compliance with the FATF Recommendations.

At the time of the on-site visit, Bahrain’s national risk assessment was ongoing. Although the country demonstrated a moderate level of understanding of its money laundering and terrorist financing risks, it should use the risk assessment, incorporating information from outside Bahrain, to further strengthen its measures. 

This includes amending the terrorism offence, which is currently inconsistent with the Terrorist Financing Convention, and pursuing both money laundering and terrorist financing in line with the country’s risk profile. 

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