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Cablegate: Eu Launches Ambitious Aml/Ctf Project with Morocco

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRB #0179/01 0581054
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271054Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8195
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 4697
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 5922
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4943
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 9532
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 3917
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS RABAT 000179

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

TREASURY FOR KRISTEN HECHT, USEU FOR JUNDERWOOD, DHS FOR
ICE/OIA MICHAEL FEINBERG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN PTER PGOV MO
SUBJECT: EU LAUNCHES AMBITIOUS AML/CTF PROJECT WITH MOROCCO

REF: A. 07 RABAT 889
B. 07 MADRID 1360

Sensitive but Unclassified - entire text. Not for internet
distribution.

1. (SBU) Summary: We met this week with Fernando Rosado, the
resident advisor who is overseeing the newly launched EU
twinning project in support of development of both Morocco's
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and its overall integrated
anti-money laundering/counter terrorism finance regime. The
project, which was formally launched on February 15, includes
a budget of 1.4 million Euros for 94 activities to be carried
out over a two year period. Rosado, who arrived here last
October, noted that the project is four months behind
schedule, but when fully operation will see a program a week
over the two year period. Rosado stressed that he intends to
coordinate closely with all other actors in the AML/CTF
field, and looked forward to cooperation with the USG to
ensure that our efforts are "complementary." End Summary.

2. (SBU) An ambitious undertaking: Rosada, a Spanish civil
servant who has also worked as an international consultant on
AML/CTF issues, previously headed FATF/GAFI's South America
task force. He briefly reviewed the overall structure of the
EU project in Morocco, characterizing it as a "very
comprehensive" program that already incorporates a schedule
for the 90-plus programs that will be undertaken over its two
years life. He described a complicated organizational
schema, in which the Spanish Treasury is the lead
implementing agency, with support from France's financial
intelligence unit-- TracFin. Target audiences, he said, have
already been identified, though because Morocco has not yet
passed the decree authorizing creation of its FIU, these
programs have been delayed by several months, and the EU will
soon face a choice between intensifying the tempo of the
programs or extending the project for several months.

3. (SBU) Rosado noted that several activities have actually
been undertaken, even in advance of the decree's
promulgation. They include a compilation of Moroccan
legislation relevant to the AML/CTF issue, two diagnostic
visits-- one focused on the country's "repressive" regime and
the other on its "preventive" regime, and the February 15
seminar/conference to launch the project. Rosado noted that
at Moroccan request the February 15 event was very much an
in-house one, as Morocco did not wish to open it to other
partners on the issue. As the project advanced, however, he
looked forward to regular consultation with the United States
and others to ensure that our activities are not duplicative.
He noted that an updated assessment of Morocco's AML/CTF
regime based on the diagnostic visits should be released in
the next several weeks.

4. (U) The EU project itself has five major pillars. They
include:

-- Reinforcing public support and national coordination,
though working groups, workshops, and public meetings.

-- Providing technical assistance and help with the updating
of relevant Moroccan legislation, through diagnostic visits,
a joint committee to rewrite legislation as necessary, and
judicial assistance as required.

-- Aiding implementation of the Financial Intelligence Unit
(FIU), through support for recruitment, elaboration of
internal work rules, coordination with other agencies, help
with procedures for international cooperation, support for
installation of a computer system, working visits to Sepblac
(Spain) and Tracfin (France), and train-the-trainer programs
within the unit.

-- Reinforcing Morocco's investigating structures-- through
seminars on prcedures, study visits, workshops, and technical
assistance as required.

-- Helping banks and other institutions that are subject to
AML/CTF requirements set up preventive systems to ensure
their compliance, through seminar for supervisors,
train-the-trainer and other training programs, and workshops.

-- Carrying the message to non-financial activities and
professions, to ensure they understand their obligations
under the new legislation.

5. (SBU) Rosado saw particular room for cooperation with the
U.S.and other donors in the fourth and fifth areas, regarding
training for police and other investigating groups, as well
as with training for banks and other financial institutions.
He noted that the EU project has little connection to
Customs, and so our programs aimed at helping them combat
bulk cash smuggling and other activities at the border are
well-targeted. Rosado opined that given Morocco's
"continental-based" legal system, France and Spain are
perhaps best placed to assist it on questions relating to
legislation and the FIU itself. Nonetheless, he also
identified the possible need for support for Morocco in
adapting the use of financial software to its needs. Rosado
noted that Spain has a state of the art software that its FIU
utilizes, which it typically offers to partner countries for
their own operations. Whether Morocco will elect to use the
system remains to be seen, but typically it requires not
insubstantial modifications, for which there is currently no
EU funding.

6. (SBU) Comment: Rosado greeted us in the large, airy office
he has been allocated in the Ministry of Finance. His work
has not been without its frustrations, however-- even after
four months, he has yet to secure either a computer or cell
phone. As a result, he has been obliged to work from home or
from local cyber-cafes. He expressed hope that with the
formal launch of the program, these problems will soon be
remedied. We intend to remain in close touch with Rosado as
the program advances, to identify those areas where U.S.
assistance can best complement EU efforts. With a program a
week, the EU agenda is an ambitious one, that will push up
against Morocco's absorption capacity. End Comment.


*****************************************
Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website;
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/rabat
*****************************************

Riley

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