In December, in the context of the implementation of the EU's fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), the European Commission presented an updated list of high-risk third countries.
Under the directive, banks and other operators have to apply higher scrutiny and transparency standards when dealing with countries on the list due to the risks they pose regarding money laundering and terrorist financing. The Commission proposed to remove Guyana from the list and to add no new countries*.
GUE/NGL tabled a motion to reject this insufficient list which was adopted by the ECON and LIBE committees in December and was today also carried in a vote during the plenary session of the European Parliament.
Fabio De Masi, vice President of the Panama Papers Committee of Inquiry and GUE/NGL Shadow Rapporteur for the negotiation of the current revision of the anti-money laundering directive comments after the vote:
“The European Commission has not done its homework despite repeated warnings from the Parliament. They failed to fulfil their obligation under existing law by producing an entirely insufficient blacklist.”
“I am happy to see the Parliament follow our request and send the Commission back to their desks. We need to get serious in our work against money laundering, tax crime and terrorist financing.
“We will shortly be releasing a detailed testimony of the shocking state of anti-money laundering practices in places like the Bahamas.
“All the PANA Committee hearings have so far come to the same conclusion: be it Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, or the journalists behind the leaks, or member state administrations fighting financial crime, everyone has demanded effective measures against tax secrecy havens.
“These places allow the super rich, companies and criminals to steal from the public and hide their wealth, and they shield money that funds global terrorism.
“This is an important signal, but we should not forget there are still gaping loopholes in the anti-money laundering legislation. GUE/NGL has proposed comprehensive amendments to plug those loopholes, achieve real transparency of letterbox companies and deter banks and law firms like Mossack Fonseca from aiding tax crimes and money laundering through severe fines and licence withdrawal in repeated cases,” concludes De Masi.
*Countries currently on the list are Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guyana, Iraq, Laos, Syria, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75