Asian countries step up the AML gear pre FATF watch list announcements

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The Financial Action Task Force is holding its plenary meeting in Paris this week and will announce the latest watch list of high risk jurisdictions on Thursday 16th February. Several Asian countries are pushing through last minute bills and using diplomatic channels to avoid public redress or at least reduce the impact of negative news reports on their economies.

Bangladesh is long out of favour with the international standard setter for failing to implement anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing norms. Bangladesh managed to jump out of the FATF’s frying pan in June 2011 when amended the AML Act 2011 to cover more reporting entities and expand the definitions of suspicious transactions and predicate offences. The bill failed to resonate with the FATF and this week, Bangladesh parliament will read the Money Laundering Prevention Bill-2012, drawn up by the international standard setter.

Nepal’s Prime Minister is seeking a last minute reprieve from the FATF. The government has not passed the three AML bills it had slated to bring national policy into line with international standards. An FATF delegation evaluated Nepal’s AML/CTF standards in 2011 and found it severely lacking. Three key bills, Mutual Legal Assistance Bill, Extradition Bill and Bill Against Organised Crime would go a long way to ticking mutual evaluation’s boxes and lift Nepal out of its non-compliance state and off the high risk list.

The Bank of Thailand is also concerned about its positioning on the FATF’s latest watch list. The list, announced on Friday 17th from the annual Plenary session in Paris and a place on the high risk group could lead to reduced investment in the national economy.

Full details of the meeting, including the new watch list and the long awaited changes to the FATF’s ‘40+9’ recommendations will be published  on Compliance Knowledge Platform.

First published on Compliance Knowledge Platform

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