Lanka could be taken off money laundering watch list - IMF | Sunday Observer

Lanka could be taken off money laundering watch list - IMF

Sri Lanka could be taken off the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) ‘grey list’ of countries deemed not compliant enough with global rules to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing by the middle of this year, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A team from the FATF, an intergovernmental organisation to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, is due to visit Sri Lanka this month, an IMF statement said.

The team will check Sri Lanka’s compliance with global Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) rules.

The FATF placed Sri Lanka under monitoring status, or a grey list, in 2017 saying there were strategic deficiencies in its compliance.

Earlier this year, Central Bank Governor, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that Sri Lanka has recorded considerable progress in completing the Action Plan agreed with the FATF. “The Central Bank has taken steps to strengthen the national Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) policy framework of the country. We have also expanded our reach by way of entering into a Memoranda of Understanding with several agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Regulatory Commission and the Department of Motor Traffic. Several progressive policies will be adopted with the coordination of all stakeholders to deepen financial intelligence services,” he said in January.

The latest IMF statement said Sri Lanka has taken measures to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime of the country.

“It is expected that Sri Lanka will be able to exit the ‘Grey List’ during the second half of 2019,” it said.

The IMF statement said, the authorities, in coordination of other stakeholders, are actively working towards successful completion of the time-bound action plan provided to Sri Lanka to address the strategic deficiencies identified in AML/CFT activities by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

- CJ