(Ecofin Agency) - Five (5) African countries have just been placed under enhanced surveillance by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body which fights money laundering and terror financing. This decision was taken at the end of the plenary session held from Feb 16-21 in Paris.
Concerned countries are Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, which join 13 others on the organization’s grey list. These countries are called upon to carry out, for some, and complete, for others, a series of reforms to their legal, regulatory and administrative framework in order to address the strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regimes.
Alongside this grey list, FATF identified two high-risk countries with significant strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes: North Korea and Iran. The organization calls on all its members to exercise enhanced due diligence with respect to these countries. And in the most serious cases, countries are called upon to apply countermeasures to protect the international financial system from the current situation.
The Financial Action Task Force was created in 1989 to develop standards and promote the effective enforcement of laws, regulations and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
The institution monitors the progress made by its members in implementing the required measures, examines money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and measures to combat them, and encourages the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures at the global level. In collaboration with other international actors, FATF also identifies countries’ vulnerabilities in order to protect the international financial sector from being used for illicit purposes.