Belize Removed from CFATF’s Blacklist

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Updated: June 5, 2015

After coming under much scrutiny when Belize was listed as a country that had not been complying with addressing the deficiencies in the laws of money laundering, the Barrow administration has reason to celebrate tonight as they are now being commended and recognized for measures taken to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.  The announcement of the blacklisting came in November 2013 and now, almost twenty months later, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has determined that Belize can be removed from that list.  The decision came following a robust assessment of the measures Belize has undertaken including the scrutinizing of the country’s legislative framework and its implementation.  The Government of Belize issued a press release on the announcement from the CFATF, stating, in part, quote, “Since 2011, Belize has been working closely with the CFATF to address the deficiencies identified in Belize’s AML/CFT regime. Those efforts were redoubled when, in November 2013, the CFATF issued a Public Statement identifying Belize as having strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime.  Since that time, Belize worked tirelessly, bringing together technical capacity and strong political will, to remedy the situation described by the CFATF and set a CFATF record, exiting the Follow-up Process faster than any other jurisdiction with similar levels of deficiencies.’  End of quote.  According to the release the CFATF member countries have congratulated Belize on its remarkable progress that was made in a very short period of time.  It went on to read, quote, ‘Belize has won an impressive victory in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing but the process is ongoing. The Belize Delegation to the CFATF and the National Anti-money Laundering Committee advise that implementation must continue and current enforcement measures will be enhanced. Compliance and supervision of both financial services and designated non-financial businesses and professions will continue to be crucial, as will matters of national and international co-operation, co-ordination and mutual legal assistance. To avoid repeating the reputational damage and economic consequences Belize suffered in 2013, the Government of Belize is fully committed to strengthening the AML/CFT regime and Belize’s international reputation as a well regulated financial services centre.’  End of quote.  The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force is an organization of 27 jurisdictions of the Caribbean Basin that have all agreed to implement the international standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing established by the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations (FATF Recommendations).