Saudi Arabia

New Documents

The Saudi Central Bank, or SAMA, highlighted a recent workshop on financial investigations related to money laundering crimes associated with smuggling, held from Aug. 1-5, 2021.

The Saudi Central Bank highlighted recent remarks by its Governor Dr. Fahad bin Abudllah Al-Mubarak and Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan regarding the approval of licenses for two local digital banks and the overall development of the financial technology sector.

News

Enforcement Actions

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Important Facts

  • The U.S. State Department identifies Saudi Arabia as a jurisdiction of concern. Saudi Arabia is a growing financial center in the Gulf Region. Although Saudi authorities have noted a rise in narcotics trafficking during the past few years, there is no indication of significant narcotics-related money laundering. Bulk cash smuggling from individual donors and Saudi-based charities has been a major source of financing to extremist and terrorist groups over the past 25 years. Funds are reportedly collected and illicitly transferred in cash because of tighter bank regulations. Despite serious and effective efforts to counter terrorist financing originating from within its borders, entities in Saudi Arabia are likely to continue serving as sources of cash flow to Sunni-based extremist groups. Saudi Arabia has publicly imposed sanctions on more than 20 Hizballah-affiliated individuals and companies since May 2015. Some Saudi officials acknowledge difficulty in following the money trail with regard to illicit finance because of the preference for cash transactions in the country and the regulatory challenges posed by hawalas.
  • KYC Covered Entities: Banks and licensed money remitters and exchangers; real estate agents; investment and insurance companies; dealers in rare commodities (e.g., antiques) and precious metals and stones; lawyers, auditors, and accountants
  • STR Covered Entities: Banks and licensed remittance and exchange companies; investment and insurance companies; dealers in rare commodities (e.g., antiques) and precious metals and stones; real estate agents, lawyers, auditors, and accountants
  • Enhanced Due Diligence Procedures for PEPs: Foreign: Yes; Domestic: Yes
  • Money Laundering Criminal Prosecutions/Convictions: Prosecutions: N/A; Convictions: N/A
Source: 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)

Rankings

FATF i | 2013 Methodology

Technical Effectiveness
Compliant : 17 High : 0
Largely Compliant : 21 Substantial : 4
Partially Compliant : 2 Moderate : 4
Non-Compliant : 0 Low : 3

Saudi Arabia's technical compliance was re-rated in a Jan. 17, 2020 follow-up report

BASEL i

Rank : 60/141
Score : 5.33/10

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL i

Rank : 51/180
Score : 53/100

Tax Justice Network i

Rank : 45/133
Score : 67/100