The European Commission Thursday named three Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries on a new list of high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their regime regarding anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing as it released a comprehensive approach to further strengthen the EU’s fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
The EU said under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), the Commission has revised its list, taking into account developments at the international level since 2018 and that the “new list is now better aligned with the lists published by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force).
It said countries that have been listed are The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, along with Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama and Zimbabwe.
But Guyana is among six other third world countries that have been delisted.
The Commission said that the new list will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month, adding “given the coronavirus crisis, the date of application of today’s Regulation listing third countries – and therefore applying new protective measures – only applies as of 1 October 2020.
“This is to ensure that all stakeholders have time to prepare appropriately. The delisting of countries, however, is not affected by this and will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal,” it added.
The Commission’s Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said: “we need to put an end to dirty money infiltrating our financial system. Today we are further bolstering our defences to fight money laundering and terrorist financing, with a comprehensive and far-reaching Action Plan.
“There should be no weak links in our rules and their implementation. We are committed to delivering on all these actions – swiftly and consistently – over the next 12 months. We are also strengthening the EU’s global role in terms of shaping international standards on fighting money laundering and terrorism financing,” he added.
The Commission said it has also published Thursday, “a more transparent, refined methodology to identify high-risk third countries that have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing regimes that pose significant threats to the EU’s financial system”.
It said that this will enhance its engagement with third countries and ensure greater cooperation with the FATF, adding that the Action Plan for a Comprehensive EU policy on Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing was built on six pillars, each of which is aimed at improving the EU’s overall fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as strengthening the EU’s global role in this area.
“When combined, these six pillars will ensure that EU rules are more harmonised and therefore more effective. The rules will be better supervised and there will be better coordination between member state authorities,” the Commission said.
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