Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi attends a military ceremony at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris on October 24, 2017 - AFP/Charles Platiau
CAIRO - 30 August 2018: The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Combating Unit (MLCU), Ahmed Said El-Sisi, has been given membership into the National Council of Payments, as per a decree issued by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
The decree, No.376 for the year of 2018, was published in the official newspaper, Al-Waqa’i’ Al-Misriyya, on Thursday.
Back in 2017, Sisi issued decree No. 89 to establish the National Council of Payments under his leadership.
The National Payment Council was created as a way to encourage digital payments, thus reducing informal financial transactions, according to FIMENA, Financial Inclusion in the MENA Region.
Meanwhile, MLCU is an independent financial intelligence unit that was established in 2002 to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in Egypt by conducting investigations and examinations with respect to the STRs (Suspicious Transaction Reports) they receive from financial institutions, non-financial businesses and professions, as per their official website.
Various studies by entities such as the IMF, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Middle East Policy Council have researched how terrorists use informal money transfers, as it is not documented, for funding.
This could potentially show that there is such a thing as a possible link between the MLCU’s goals and the National Council of Payments, thus this inevitably goes back to the question of where and how terrorist organizations are funded.
Amongst those included in the National Council of Payments are the Prime Minister, Governor of the Central Bank, Ministers of Defense, Planning, Administrative Reform, Interior, Communication, Justice and Finance, General Intelligence Directorate and Administrative Control Authority.
Additional reporting done by Ibrahim Kasim