New measures have been adopted to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in its revision of its 40 recommendations.
According to the FATF the major changes that have been adopted include specifying a list of crimes that must underpin the money laundering offence.
The changes will involve tightening customer due diligence processes for financial institutions and there will be enhanced measures for higher risk customers and transactions. Transparency requirements will also be improved.
Anti-money laundering measures will also be extended to designated non-financial businesses and professions such as casinos, real estate agents, accountants and lawyers as well as requirements to cover terrorist financing.
The revised recommendations set a new standard, which FATF members will immediately start working to implement. The FATF encourages other countries and jurisdictions to do likewise. The FATF will also be moving promptly to assess members' compliance with this standard as part of its programme of work for FATF (2003-2004). This will occur through a process of self-assessment, which is then to be followed by a further round of mutual evaluations that could start before the end of 2004.
There has also been a collaborative effort between the FATF, the United Nations and other international organisations, to encourage all countries to implement the Special Recommendations.
Other announcements by the FATF include the admittance of South Africa and the Russian Federation as full members following a positive outcome to the first mutual evaluations ' which assessed their systems for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
St Vincent and the Grenadines have also been removed by the FATF from the list of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories. In line with past practice, the FATF will continue to monitor closely the implementation of the anti-money laundering system in this jurisdiction.
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