The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the world’s anti-money-laundering standard-setter has removed The Bahamas from its lists of jurisdictions under increased monitoring.
The Bahamas is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. In making the announcement on Monday, FATF also congratulated the Caribbean territory on the significant progress it has made in improving its Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
According to FATF, “The Bahamas has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT system and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan and remedy the strategic deficiencies identified by the FATF in October 2018.” However, The Bahamas will continue to work with Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, a FATF-style regional body to improve further its AML/CFT regime.
Other jurisdictions on the FATF monitoring list includes Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Myanmar/Burma, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Putting in place remedial actions
The Bahamas Attorney-General, Carl Bethel reported last December that the country was very close to existing the FATF’s ‘grey list’ of countries with deficiencies in their anti-money laundering AML/CFT regimes having put in place remedial actions. Bethel also addressed the issue of The Bahamas being blacklisted by France.
He insisted the country was fully compliant with every request from FATF noting that the French blacklisting concerns the tax information exchange agreement between the two countries, and the perception by the French authorities that the Bahamas has not been responding to requests for information in a manner that is satisfactory to them.
French Public Accounts Minister, Gerald Darmanin made the announcement regarding the blacklisting last December with Anguilla, Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Seychelles also being added to its blacklist. At that time Deputy Prime Minister, Peter Turnquest slammed the move as ‘disrespectful’ during an address in Parliament.
According to The Bahamas Attorney General, “As far as we are aware our cooperation in the Office of the Attorney General extends to certain mutual legal assistance matters and we are confident that we are doing our best. The government will find out exactly what are the deficiencies and I can assure the Bahamian people it will be remedied if in fact it exits.”
He added that a thorough review of all correspondences between the competent authorities will be undertaken. “According to our records The Bahamas is fully compliant with every request,” Bethel said.