BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 13, 2021 - Barbados' Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Dale marshall, says The recent action by the Government of the United Kingdom in listing Barbados as a High-Risk Third Country with respect to money laundering and the financing of terrorism is unfortunate and disappointing, but not surprising.
In a statement today, the Attorney General said his government "have been tracking the potential for this development since earlier this year and we were given the assurance by the UK, that their list would simply mirror the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies. Barbados has been on this list since February last year.'
However, the UK’s use of the term “High-Risk” elevates the situation to one that is not merited, especially since it is using the FATF’s list. Nowhere does the FATF refer to the listed jurisdictions as being High Risk.
The FATF makes it clear that a country’s appearance on the list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies is not a call for other FATF member countries to take enhanced due diligence measures, since the listed countries are actively working with the FATF to resolve the issues identified.
In February 2020, the FATF and Barbados agreed a multi-year Action Plan to address identified deficiencies and we have been working assiduously on the implementation of that plan, with the aim of being removed from the FATF in the shortest possible time. Barbados’ first progress report to the FATF is due in September this year."
Barbados the Cayman Islands and Jamaica are the three Caribbean countries to be placed on the United Kingdom’s list of “high-risk third countries” when it comes to money laundering and terrorist financing.
This comes even as UK officials acknowledged that authorities in Bridgetown have made efforts over the past few years to strengthen anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes.
The UK’s list, which is contained in its amended Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on Payer) Regulations 2017 (MRLs), was approved by the UK Parliament and came into force at the end of March this year.
In addition to the three Caribbean countries, Albania, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Cambodia, Korea, Ghana, Iran, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Senegal, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe complete the full list of 21 countries on the UK list.
The UK’s list, which is contained in its amended Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 (MRLs), was approved by the UK Parliament and came into force at the end of March this year.