Archive for March, 2012

United States includes Vatican into money-laundering “concern” list

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The Vatican has appeared on the State Department’s list of money-laundering centres. However, the city-state is not rated as a high-risk country.

On March 7, the 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report was published. Washington’s list of 190 countries classifies them in 3 categories: of primary concern, of concern and monitored.

The Vatican was included into the 2nd category, along with 67 other nations including Poland, Ireland, Hungary, Egypt and Chile.

The Vatican was added to the list as it is vulnerable to money laundering. “To be considered a jurisdiction of concern merely indicates that there is a vulnerability to a financial system by money launderers. With the large volumes of international currency that goes through the Holy See, it is a system that makes it vulnerable as a potential money-laundering center,” Susan Pittman of the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement said.

In 2011, the tiny city-state adapted internal laws to comply with international standards on financial crime.

It is seeking inclusion on the European Commission’s so-called “white list” of states complying with international standards against tax fraud and money-laundering. A decision on its inclusion is expected in June 2012.

FATF pushes tougher Money Laundering rules

Monday, March 5th, 2012

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international financial watchdog, says that all the governments should systematically consider tax crimes as a potential signal of money laundering.

The FATF wants governments around the world to require greater openness about the real owners of companies, so that it would be harder for financial criminals and terrorists to conceal their identities or hide their assets.

Pakistan, Indonesia, Ghana, Tanzania and Thailand included into Money Laundering Blacklist

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

In February, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) added Pakistan, Indonesia, Ghana, Tanzania and Thailand to its blacklist of jurisdictions that do not meet international standards.

According to FATF findings, the 5 above-mentioned countries were flaunting recommendations made to them toward fighting money-laundering and financing terrorism.

FATF removed no countries from the blacklist. However, Honduras and Paraguay were removed from an intermediary “grey-list” of countries as falling behind on international standards despite having committed to them.

The international watchdog can make recommendations to any of the 36 countries that have signed a membership charter, as well as to other nations, but it has no power to carry out sanctions. The recommendations made by FATF reach more than 180 countries through regional networks. According to the body’s estimations, money laundering and related financial crimes cost 2-5% of global GDP (gross domestic product).

The FATF blacklist currently includes 17 countries: Bolivia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Iran, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Sao Tome and Principe, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ghana, Tanzania and Thailand.

The FATF grey-list includes 22 countries: Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Sudan, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe.