Ja makes progress in anti-money laundering efforts


Ja makes progress in anti-money laundering efforts

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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FINANCE Minister Dr Nigel Clarke is optimistic that in another two years Jamaica's anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism framework should be at the level where it can get the full stamp of approval from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

CFATF is an organisation of states and territories of the Caribbean basin which have agreed to implement common countermeasures against money laundering and terrorism financing recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

Jamaica's mutual evaluation report against the International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation (“FATF 40” Recommendations) was done in 2015 by CFATF and published by CFATF in 2017. The report reflected a substantial number of deficiencies in Jamaica's legislative framework. The country received a rating of compliant or largely compliant with 17 out of the 40 recommendations and based on that outcome, Jamaica was placed in the CFATF's enhanced follow-up process and, as such, is required to submit a follow-up report at one of CFATF's two plenaries held annually. In December 2020, Jamaica submitted the third follow-up report, since its mutual evaluation report was published in early 2017.

In this third follow-up report in December, Jamaica applied for a re-rating in 19 of the 40 FATF recommendations in which it was previously deemed either partially compliant or non-compliant and received upgrades in 12.

Jamaica needs to be compliant or largely compliant with at least 32 of the 40 recommendations to come out of the follow-up process with CFATF.

“Jamaica is now compliant or largely compliant with 27 of FATF's 40 recommendations, a substantial improvement over compliance or partial compliance with only 17 out of 40 FATF recommendations,” Clarke told Parliament yesterday..

“This is a huge, positive change,” the finance minister said, adding that the Administration remains committed to ensuring the adequacy of the relevant laws and infrastructure needed to “effectively disrupt the benefits of the proceeds of crime and disrupt the financing of any financial crime”.

“In so doing, we are on the road to achieving Jamaica's removal from the CFATF enhanced follow-up process,” Clarke said.

“We want to be able, on our next application to CFATF, go up from the 27; I can't say we will get from there to 32 because some of the things we have left are difficult, but I would say within two years we should be able to do that, hopefully before, but we should be able to do that on CFATF,” said the minister.

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