A new blacklist of high risk jurisdictions* with inadequate legal frameworks to fight money laundering and terrorist financing has been adopted by the European Commission.
This came as part of the updated delegated act to the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD) and requires banks and law firms to apply tougher checks on their customers when dealing with jurisdictions on the blacklist.
GUE/NGL has formally asked to reject the new delegated act and has so far received support from several other political groups.
German MEP Fabio De Masi – Vice-President of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) at the European Parliament – who is GUE/NGL’s co-shadow rapporteur for the AMLD, said:
“The Commission has ignored crystal clear demands by the Parliament to adopt a more ambitious approach over the AMLD blacklist. None of the obvious names exposed in the Panama Papers scandal and other major leaks feature on the list. This is embarrassing. It demonstrates the Commission's continued unwillingness to act decisively against financial crime and secrecy offshore.”
“Our group is pushing for the Parliament to stand up against such spineless behaviour and will make clear that we are more determined than ever in eliminating such secrecy jurisdiction.”
Danish MEP Rina Ronja Kari – GUE/NGL's other co-shadow rapporteur for the AMLD – added:
“What we ask of the Commission is to just implement the laws that are already there. But that alone won’t be enough. The existing AMLD still contains too many loopholes that need to be closed urgently”.
“It is of utmost importance that we stop the fake registration of company owners and trusts via nominee directors.”
“In addition, we need full public scrutiny of ownership structures in central registers. It is shameful that the Council has already fallen behind the Commission’s flawed proposal. Their response to huge offshore scandals is basically no additional transparency,” she said.
“When it comes to banks and law firms, they simply need to stop doing business with companies that show no willingness to comply with basic transparency rules. We need to end secretive letterboxes now,” concluded Kari.
*The countries on the list are Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Laos, Syria, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen, Iran and North Korea. Only Guyana has been removed from the previous list.