FATF Identifies Anti-Money Laundering Deficient Countries

March 1, 2011 International Tax Cooperation

Anti-Money Laundering Progress Report ReleasedIn a continued fight against international money laundering and terrorist financing, the Financial Action Task Force has released two public documents listing countries with legislative deficiencies when combating such illicit activities .

Last week the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) updated its list of countries which are deemed as having strategic deficiencies in their provisions for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT). The list was made available through a set of public documents, which highlighted the countries that were deemed as not having taken adequate action following talks with the FATF held in 2010. The documents also showed that the FATF has called its member nations to apply counter measures when dealing with entities and transactions from Iran and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in order to protect international financial systems.

According to a media statement issued with the revised list, the FATF is pleased to reached some initial commitments regarding AML and CFT with the DPRK. However the FATF is concerned that the DPRK is yet to make any engagement to addressing the significant deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism regimes. The FATF is now warning all of its member nations to pay particular scrutiny to any business arrangements or transactions with the DPRK.

The FATF also stated that it welcomes Iran’s recent steps of initiating discussions regarding AML and CFT, but remains concerned with the country’s continued inaction towards addressing the matters. The FATF is now urging the Iranian lawmakers in the country to pursue new legislation criminalizing terrorist financing activities and instating a framework for mandatory reporting of suspicious transactions.

The update catalogued progress made by countries towards meeting the AML and CTF obligations as a result of discussions with the FATF. According to the media statement, the following countries have previously made high-level commitments to the FATF but continue to show deficiencies in their AML and CTF frameworks: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

The following countries were deemed as having made adequate progress in AML and CTF since discussions held in 2010: Bangladesh, Ecuador, Greece, Honduras, Morocco, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Sudan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, and Yemen.

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