By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has commended Belize for enacting nine pieces of key legislation, six laws and three regulations to boost Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) standards.
The statement from the CFATF, last week, stated that Belize has brought into force significant mechanisms to address its AML/CFT deficiencies.
The statement also said Belize and the CFATF should continue to work together to ensure that Belize’s reform process is completed, by addressing its remaining deficiencies and continue implementing its Action Plan.
According to the CFATF, in January, Belize brought together technical capacity and political will to approve different pieces of legislation and regulations, which represent a significant step in improving compliance with AML/CFT Standards.
In November 2013, the CFATF issued a Public Statement, encouraging greater compliance with AML/CFT standards and identified Belize and Guyana as jurisdictions that had strategic deficiencies.
Guyana has still not complied with CFATF standards and they have called upon members to implement further counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from that country.
In January, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced the bills, he stated that, in his view, a number of the requirements were hypocritical but “these people have such power over our financial sector and can in fact provoke the collapse of our commercial financial sector; we have no choice but to comply.”