After the arrest of Col Kumar Lama in the UK, the country should have learnt the importance of international commitments and their compliance.
The country had committed to the international community in 2010 to fight the flow of dirty money, but it still has not approved the Bill Against Organised Crime, which could lead the country to a high risk zone to do business with international players.
"Nepal, on January 17, will take part in the face-to-face meeting in Hong Kong, where it will brief on recent developments," according to a high government official. "The meeting will report the next Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary and working group meetings that is scheduled to be held in Paris, France, on February 18-22, that will take the decision on whether to send the country to high risk zone or not," he added.
"The government must approve the remaining Bill Against Organised Crime," he said, adding that the country, though, escaped blacklisting due to last minute approval of two — Mutual Legal Assistance Bill and Extradition Bill — of the three key Bills under UN conventions earlier. This time around, it must approve the remaining Bill to fulfill the commitment or face the music.
FATF — an inter-governmental body consisting of 36 member-jurisdictions and a number of observers — is the global standard setter for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
It has a number of working groups including the Working Group on Terrorist Financing, the Working Group on Evaluations and Implementations, the International Cooperation Review Group and the Working Group on Typologies. These working groups consist of international experts drawn from FATF member countries who collectively contribute to key policy decisions of FATF.
The February meeting will consider policy issues relating to the current review of the FATF standards, discuss matters relevant to the fourth round of evaluations that will commence in late 2013, and international cooperation issues with respect to a number of countries — including some Asia/Pacific Group (APG) members — and determine the way forward for jurisdictions that have strategic and other deficiencies in their domestic AML/CFT frameworks.
These issues, and others, have an impact on the APG and its individual members, in the short and long term. The APG is an associate member of FATF and actively participates in its business meetings. Nepal is a member of the APG under FATF.
The APG meets on a regular basis generally twice a year. The APG's two regular meetings are annual meetings in July and annual typologies workshop. Last time, the APG held its 15th annual meeting in Brisbane, Australia, in July 2012.
The 16th annual meeting will be held in Shanghai, China, in July 2013, whereas the 17th annual meeting will be held in Macau, China, in July 2014, and the 18th annual meeting will be held in New Zealand, in July 2015.
The 16th APG annual meeting and annual forum on Technical Assistance and Training will be held in Shanghai, China, on July 15 -19, to discuss the structure and operation of the APG, mutual evaluation procedures and the scheduling of on-site visits to APG members, implementation issues and their relevance to FATF's International Cooperation Review Group, technical assistance and training issues both for specific APG members and for wider policy-related matters, emerging and evolving money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing typologies and special issues of significance to individual APG members and to the whole membership.The discussion will focus on APG’s third round of mutual evaluations and the new FATF standards/assessment methodology and as well as on progress by individual APG members against the recommendations in the second round mutual evaluation reports, which is going to be crucial for Nepal, apart from January 17's face-to-face meeting, where the country will present its report on recent developments.