The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) met in Madrid 4-6 October to discuss its strategy for further expanding the worldwide anti-money laundering network. In a press conference on October 5, the FATF announced a list of 7 Countries/Territories, including The Bahamas, which have enacted legislation to address deficiencies earlier identified by the independent international body.

The FATF report indicated that The Bahamas has enacted the Money Laundering (Proceeds of Crime) Amendment Act 2000, the Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 2000, the Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Amendment Act 2000 and, further, that The Bahamas has proposed other new or amended bills.

The FATF will continue to monitor progress towards meeting international standards and addressing the perceived deficiencies. It will assess the progress made by these jurisdictions over the coming months to determine the removal of any jurisdiction from the list of NCCTs, i.e. countries and territories identified as “non-cooperative”. FATF President, José Maria Roldán declared in Madrid that “..we are generally pleased with the positive steps taken by many jurisdictions named in June as non-cooperative.”

In making the assessments, the FATF will need to be satisfied as to the existence of comprehensive and effective anti-money laundering systems. It will attach particular importance to reforms in the area of criminal law, financial supervision, customer identification, suspicious activity reporting, and international co-operation. As necessary, legislation and regulations need to be enacted and have come into effect before removal from the list can be considered. In addition, the FATF will seek to ensure that the jurisdiction is implementing the necessary reforms.