Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest yesterday rejected The Bahamas’ most recent blacklisting by the European Union (EU) due to deficiencies in controls against anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CTF).
Although Turnquest acknowledged the country’s shortcomings, he said the government does not support the EU’s position.
Following an assessment conducted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last October, The Bahamas was listed as a high-risk jurisdiction in the area of AML/CTF, Turnquest pointed out, but has since been addressing this issue.
“We made tremendous progress in that short amount of time, we have roughly ten more items to address and we’re working hard to accomplish that in time for the next evaluation report later this year,” Turnquest told Guardian Business.
“This particular blacklist is with respect to the FATF AML/CFT. It’s an assessment that was done by the FATF last year, we do not support this listing.”
This most recent blacklisting comes just days after The Central Bank of The Bahamas released its Group of Financial Services Regulators 2018 AML/CFT report.
In the EU’s Commission Delegated report obtained by Guardian Business, The Bahamas is considered “a country having strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime under Article 9 of Directive (EU) 2015/849, which identifies high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies”.
“The commission reviewed the latest information received in this context from FATF relating to these deficiencies and other relevant information,” the report notes.
“Following the review of the available information from FATF and from other relevant sources, the commission’s analysis has concluded that The Bahamas presents strategic deficiencies in the following areas: deficiencies with regard to case management relating to international cooperation; deficiencies in risk-based supervision of non-bank financial institutions; deficiencies with regard to the timely access to adequate, accurate and current basic and beneficial ownership information.”
Other areas of deficiencies include the quality of the Financial Intelligence Unit’s products to assist law enforcement agencies in the pursuance of money laundering/terrorist financing investigations, specifically complex money laundering/terrorist financing and standalone money laundering investigations; deficiencies in ensuring that authorities are investigating and prosecuting all types of money laundering, including complex money laundering cases, standalone money laundering, and cases involving proceeds of foreign offences; and deficiencies in ensuring that confiscation proceedings are initiated and concluded for all types of money laundering cases.
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