Israel joins anti-money laundering group FATF
11 Dec 2018

Israel has become a full member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), making it the 38th member of the global anti-money laundering body.

The jurisdiction has ‘worked to meet the requirements’ for full membership, which includes undergoing a successful mutual evaluation.

“Since the start of its observership in February 2016, Israel has worked to meet the requirements for Israel became an observer to the FATF in February 2016,” FATF said.

“Until then it had already been closely involved in the work of the FATF through its participation in the FATF-style regional body MONEYVAL.”

Commenting on the FATF assessment, the Council of Europe (COE) said: “Israel has demonstrated its ability to identify, investigate and disrupt terrorist financing activity at an early stage using a wide range of effective instruments and mechanisms, as well as effectively prosecuting, and convicting those involved.

“However, it must improve its coordination on preventing the misuse of non-profit organisations for terrorist financing, in particular by increasing its resources to register and supervise these organisations.”

It also added that Israel has also achieved good results in understanding the risks it is exposed to, prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing, but it needs to introduce major improvements to strengthen supervision and implementation of preventive measures.

The country has made it a ‘high-level priority’ to deprive criminals of their illicit gains, the COE said, and has an average of over €24 million per year in confiscations.

Regarding shortfalls, the COE noted that financial supervisors generally have not yet developed ‘a full risk-based AML/CFT-specific supervision, and that Israel has not included real estate agents, dealers in precious metals, and trust and company service providers in its AML/CFT system.’

Lawyers and accountants are not required to report suspicious transactions.

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