PNG Removed From Global Money Laundering Blacklist

Reform efforts recognized by Financial Action Task Force

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 30, 2016) – Papua New Guinea and the Asian country of Myanmar have been removed from the global Financial Action Task Force blacklist for money laundering.

This is after the Financial Action Task Force, a global inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its member jurisdictions moved both countries in February from its blacklist to a so-called "improving list" pending an on-site visit.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was happy to say yesterday that the PNG Government has introduced measures which continue to eliminate money laundering in Papua New Guinea and that these efforts were now being recognised by the international financial community.

Mr O’Neill also said that although this was good news PNG still needed to be vigilant and continue to adopt new methods developed to combat these irregularities in the financial sector.

"Our Government has introduced measures which continue to eliminate money laundering in Papua New Guinea and these efforts are now being recognised by the international financial community.

"A lot of government officials and members of our financially community including the banks have assisted greatly in achieving this outcome.

"A great news for PNG but we need to be vigilant and continue adopt news methods developed to combat these irregularities in the financial sector," he said.

In a statement released this week after its plenary session in South Korea, the FATF welcomed the "significant progress" from these countries in addressing deficiencies the body identified in earlier examinations.

As a result of their removal from the blacklist the countries are no longer subject to monitoring by the FATF and they’ll work with regional bodies on their compliance.

Countries that fail to implement FATF’s standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policy run the risk of being labeled as high-risk or uncooperative jurisdictions, making it more costly and difficult for those nations to transact with the banking systems of FATF member states.

The full update of its plenary session comes days after the FATF announced it would suspend for a year some of its restrictions on Iran.

PNG Post-Courier
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