(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Jamaica is among seven new countries which have been placed on a grey list by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for gaps or failures in stemming the financing of terrorist groups or money laundering.
The list emerged from FATF’s deliberations on global action to track terrorism funding, which was held from February 19 to 21 in Paris, France, and chaired by its president, Xiangmin Liu of the People’s Republic of China.
Jamaica and Barbados are the only two countries from the Caribbean that have been added to the list, which also includes Albania, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nicaragua, and Uganda. This means these countries are subject to increased monitoring FATF said.
“When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed time frames and is subject to increased monitoring,” FATF said.
The session was attended by more than 800 delegates, representing the global network of 205 countries and jurisdictions and international organisations including the International Monetary Fund, United Nations, and World Bank.
FATF explained that jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the organisation to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.
Jamaica, it noted, has made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force to strengthen the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
“Since the completion of its Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) in November 2016, Jamaica has made progress on a number of its MER-recommended actions to improve technical compliance and effectiveness, including by amending its customer due diligence obligations,” FATF outlined.
The agency said Jamaica has committed to implementing its action plan, to include: developing a more comprehensive understanding of its money laundering/terrorist financing risk; and including all financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions in the AML/CFT regime, and ensuring adequate risk-based supervision in all sectors.
FATF said Jamaica has also given the undertaking to take appropriate measures to prevent legal arrangements from being misused for criminal purposes, and ensure that accurate and up to date basic and beneficial ownership information is available on a timely basis, as well as “ensuring the implementation of targeted financial sanctions for terrorist financing without delay”.
Meanwhile, FATF said it welcomes Caribbean neighbour Trinidad and Tobago’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime. The twin-island republic is no longer on the grey list and is therefore no longer subject to increased monitoring by the FATF.
FATF said it notes that “Trinidad and Tobago has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in November 2017”.
The FATF continues to identify additional jurisdictions, on an ongoing basis, that have strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. A number of jurisdictions have not yet been reviewed by the FATF and FATF-style regional bodies.
The Financial Action Task Force was established in 1989 by the ministers of its 39 member countries, representing the majority of financial centres globally.
FATF sets standards and promotes implementation of legal, regulatory, and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.