An international organization that monitors and establishes guidelines to protect against money laundering and terrorist financing, Thursday (21/10) added Turkey, Jordan and Mali to its watch list.
The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) called for increased oversight of financial transactions in the three countries, which have agreed to do what the group has recommended.
Being on the gray list can make investors and creditors anxious, disrupting exports, consumption and production of goods. It can also make the world’s private banks wary when doing business with a country. The FATF also announced a new strategy to combat corruption through shell companies or other anonymous entities.
Shell company – or shell companies – is a kind of intermediary company that is difficult to trace and often performs financial maneuvers.
The FATF said the proposed rule would force countries to create registration lists of the real identities of company owners, which must be verified and updated within one month.
FATF president Marcus Pleyer said the “proposal would close regulatory loopholes and weaknesses, which fake companies have used for too long as a cover to carry out criminal activities or to hide (someone’s) wealth from tax authorities.”
The regulation was proposed after the release of the “Pandora Papers” by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The report describes the financial transactions of elites and corruptors, and how they use offshore accounts and locations or countries where they can avoid paying taxes to protect trillions of dollars’ worth of assets.
The rules are expected to be adopted at the FATF meeting in February, which consists of 37 member states – including the US – and two regional groups, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Commission.
As Turkey, Jordan and Mali were added to the watch list, Botswana and Mauritius were removed from the list.
There are now 23 countries on the gray list. These countries are considered only partially comply with international rules to combat terrorist financing and money laundering.
Pakistan is one of 23 countries on the list. Pleyer said Pakistan had “made good progress,” overcoming four of the seven areas it had intended to improve. But there is still work for Pakistan to do to be removed from the list, he added.
Tabadlab, kelompok think tank The independent, based in Pakistan, estimates Pakistan’s economy has lost up to $38 billion since being added to the FATF’s gray list in 2018.
North Korea and Iran are still on the FATF’s high-risk blacklist. The designation makes international financial transactions with the two countries very closely scrutinized, making doing business with North Korea and Iran expensive and complicated. International lenders can also restrict lending to countries that are on the FATF blacklist. [em/lt]