Weaponisation of the FATF Standards: a guide for global civil society

Think tank: RUSI

Author(s): Dr Stephen Reimer

June 11, 2024

This report from UK think tank RUSI examines the weaponisation of the FATF Standards.

This guide endeavours to convert anecdotal evidence of abuses and misuses of the FATF system into an impartial body of research that can support existing advocacy and policymaking efforts.

The standards and processes of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are intended to uphold transparency and integrity within the global financial system, which in turn should curb the laundering of the proceeds of crime, stem corruption and protect the financial system from terrorist financing abuse.

Yet, as with other global policy instruments, the FATF standards have been weaponised by authorities worldwide as part of holistic campaigns to crack down on targets who threaten their interests, most often civil society actors such as watchdog organisations, journalists, opposition figures and other critics who threaten regime interests or stability.