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Iran placed on money laundering blacklist

Abu Dhabi, February 19, 2010

The international body fighting money laundering and terrorist financing has blacklisted Iran, Angola, North Korea, Ecuador and Ethiopia as posing risks to the international financial system.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), comprising governments and regional organisations named the countries after a meeting in Abu Dhabi.       

Publication of the blacklist follows promises by the Group of 20 major economies last year to crack down on the problem, calling on the FATF to identify "uncooperative jurisdictions". 

Iran has been named as a jurisdiction where risks emanate due to the ongoing and substantial money laundering and terrorist financing, the FATF said in a statement, urging member countries to apply counter measures against Iran to protect the international financial system.

"The FATF remains particularly concerned about Iran's failure to address the risk of terrorist financing and the serious threat this poses to the integrity of the international financial system," the statement said.

Angola, the People's Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador and Ethiopia have been named as jurisdictions that have not committed to the FATFs action plan and the international anti-money laundering/countering terrorist financing standards. 

Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Sao Tome & Principe are jurisdictions that continue to have anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing deficiencies that remain to be addressed, the statement said.   

Global Witness, an international NGO welcomed the FATF move of coming out with such a list but said that majority of countries on the list are poor countries and not OECD members.   

"There are also problems in the world's key financial centres where those systems allow exposed politicians, terrorists, nuclear proliferators and organised criminals to access funds they need," Anthea Lawson, a campaigner for Global Witness told Reuters by phone.

The latest list is based on evaluations by FATF on whether a country has laws in place. "What is not measured is whether these laws are enforced and if that is done, many more countries would be on the blacklist," she said, citing the example of the USA which is not showing signs of what it should do. -Reuters




Tags: money laundering | Iran | blacklist | FATF |

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