By Aya Nader
Interim President Adly Mansour on Monday issued a presidential decree admitting Egypt into the Arab Agreement against Money Laundering and Terrorism Funding, with the caveat of a “reservation” over its ratification.
“We are facing a real war on terrorism, with Al-Qaeda [having a base] in Egypt and Libya becoming an essential exporter of terrorism and weapons [to Egypt],” said strategist Yosri Al-Ezawi. He added that the agreement was signed to deter terrorism.
The agreement, signed in Cairo in December 2010, aims at enhancing co-operation between Arab countries in their fight against money laundering and terrorism funding.
The agreement stated that each signatory is to apply its own local judicial system without interference of the other countries another, while recognising each’s penal sentences.
According to the agreement, criminals and those convicted are to be exchanged between signatory countries, with the condition that their actions are deemed criminal in both the country in which they are convicted in and the recipient country. The exchange requests would be filed through specialised authorities, Ministries of Justice or via diplomatic channels.
It also stated that each country is to have a system of surveillance of banks and financial institutions to expose and fight all types of money laundering and terrorism funding, as well as establishing a financial investigations unit.
The agreement also stressed that the signatory countries are to cooperate in information expertise and research exchange, as well as providing one another with legal and technical aid and conducting joint training programs.
Those charged are to be encouraged to provide information and assistance to the relevant authorities in investigations and indictment, and to be acquitted or given reduced sentences if they come forward with information to be shared among signatories. The agreement was first implemented in October 2013, after ratification by seven Arab countries: Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Palestine, Qatar, and Kuwait.