accountability, Afghanistan, American Samoa, Bogdanov, Botswana, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, dirty money, EC, Ethiopia, EU, financial system, Ghana, Guam, Iran, Iraq, Khashoggi, King Salman, Libya, Money-laundering, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Puerto Rico, Putin, Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, terrorism, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, US Virgin Islands, yemen
If Saudi were innocent, shouldn’t they support this? “The aim of this list is to protect the EU financial system by better preventing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. As a result of the listing, banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks (due diligence) on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries to better identify any suspicious money flows.” (Euro Commission, 13 Feb 2019)
“The listing of the Saudi Kingdom “will damage its reputation on the one hand and it will create difficulties in trade and investment flows between the Kingdom and the European Union on the other,” the [Saudi] King wrote. See: “Saudi pushes EU to scrap money-laundering blacklist“. February 28, 2019 https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190228-saudi-pushes-eu-to-scrap-money-laundering-blacklist/
Or maybe they bowed to Russian pressure?
“Saudi King Meets Russian Foreign Minister in Riyadh March 5, 2019 MOSCOW — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Riyadh on Tuesday, footage on the Russian foreign ministry’s official Youtube channel showed...” https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/03/05/us/05reuters-russia-lavrov-saudi.html
“In the aftermath of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, Putin stated that Russia “cannot start deteriorating relations” with Saudi Arabia as “it did not know what really happened.” His press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, later added that there was “no reason basically not to believe” the official statements issued by Saudi Arabia on the matter. In December 2018, Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov warned the United States against interference in the line of succession to the Saudi throne by pushing for the ouster of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, following reports that U.S. officials would support replacing him with Ahmed bin Abdulaziz. Boganov stated that “the King made a decision and I can’t even imagine on what grounds someone in America will interfere in such an issue and think about who should rule Saudi Arabia, now or in the future.”” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia–Saudi_Arabia_relations
US territories are on the list and the US gov has reportedly complained too. But, Russia, Saudi, the Trump Admin all seem to be virtually the same thing these days.
The list from the more detailed Feb 13th press release below: The 23 jurisdictions are Afghanistan, American Samoa, The Bahamas, Botswana, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guam, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Saudi Arabia,Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, US Virgin Islands, Yemen.
From March 7, 2019:
“Council of the EU Press release 07/03/2019 11:20
Money laundering and terrorist financing: Council returns draft list of high risk countries to the Commission The Council unanimously decided to reject a draft list put forward by the Commission of 23 “high-risk third countries” in the area of money laundering and terrorist financing… The Commission will now have to propose a new draft list of high-risk third countries that will address member states’ concerns. The 5th directive on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing sets out an obligation to identify third country jurisdictions which have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes that pose significant threats to the financial system of the EU. The objective of the listing is to protect the EU financial system from risks of money laundering and terrorist financing coming from third countries. On this basis, banks and other financial institutions are required to be more vigilant and to carry out extra checks in the context of transactions involving high-risk third countries“. Entire news release here: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/03/07/money-laundering-and-terrorist-financing-council-returns-draft-list-of-high-risk-countries-to-the-commission/
They may rebuke but nothing with teeth?
“Europeans, Canada, Australia issue first rebuke of Saudi Arabia at U.N. rights forum Posted:Thu, 07 Mar 2019 09:10:49 -0500
Three dozen countries, including all 28 EU members, called on Saudi Arabia on Thursday to release 10 activists and cooperate with a U.N.-led investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate“.http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/ExfjIJVOvmo/europeans-canada-australia-issue-first-rebuke-of-saudi-arabia-at-u-n-rights-forum-idUSKCN1QO15B
“EU states reject blacklisting Saudi, others over dirty money
Posted:Thu, 07 Mar 2019 05:44:02 -0500
The 28 member states of the European Union all backed a decision on Thursday to reject a proposal from the EU executive to add Saudi Arabia to a blacklist of countries suspected of being lax on terrorist financing and money-laundering. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/2vVmOf2fDrM/eu-states-reject-blacklisting-saudi-others-over-dirty-money-idUSKCN1QO15M
“European Commission – Press release
European Commission adopts new list of third countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes
Strasbourg, 13 February 2019
Today, the Commission has adopted its new list of 23 third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks.
The aim of this list is to protect the EU financial system by better preventing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. As a result of the listing, banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks (due diligence) on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries to better identify any suspicious money flows. On the basis of a new methodology , which reflects the stricter criteria of the 5th anti-money laundering directive in force since July 2018, the list has been established following an in-depth analysis.
Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “We have established the strongest anti-money laundering standards in the world, but we have to make sure that dirty money from other countries does not find its way to our financial system. Dirty money is the lifeblood of organised crime and terrorism. I invite the countries listed to remedy their deficiencies swiftly. The Commission stands ready to work closely with them to address these issues in our mutual interest. “
The Commission is mandated to carry out an autonomous assessment and identify the high-risk third countries under the Fourth and Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives. 
The list has been established on the basis of an analysis of 54 priority jurisdictions  , which was prepared by the Commission in consultation with the Member States and made public on 13 November 2018. The countries assessed meet at least one of the following criteria:
* they have systemic impact on the integrity of the EU financial system,
* they are reviewed by the International Monetary Fund as international offshore financial centres;
* they have economic relevance and strong economic ties with the EU.
For each country, the Commission assessed the level of existing threat, the legal framework and controls put in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing risks and their effective implementation. The Commission also took into account the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standard-setter in this field.
The Commission concluded that 23 countries have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering/ counter terrorist financing regimes. This includes 12 countries listed by the Financial Action Task Force and 11 additional jurisdictions. Some of the countries listed today are already on the current EU list, which includes 16 countries.
The Commission adopted the list in the form of a Delegated Regulation. It will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month (with a possible one-month extension). Once approved, the Delegated Regulation will be published in the Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days after its publication.
The Commission will continue its engagement with the countries identified as having strategic deficiencies in the present Delegated Regulation and will further engage especially on the delisting criteria. This list enables the countries concerned to better identify the areas for improvement in order to pave the way for a possible delisting once strategic deficiencies are addressed.
The Commission will follow up on progress made by listed countries, continue monitoring those reviewed and start assessing additional countries, in line with its published methodology. The Commission will update this list accordingly. It will also reflect on further strengthening its methodology where needed in light of experience gained, with a view to ensuring effective identification of high-risk third countries and the necessary follow-up.
The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is a priority for the Juncker Commission. The adoption of the Fourth  – in force since June 2015- and the Fifth  Anti-Money Laundering Directives – in force since 9 July 2018 – has considerably strengthened the EU regulatory framework.
Following the entry into force of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive in 2015, the Commission published a first EU list of high-risk third countries based on the assessment of the Financial Action Task Force.  The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive broadened the criteria for the identification of high-risk third countries, including notably the availability of information on the beneficial owners of companies and legal arrangements. This will help better address risks stemming from the setting up of shell companies and opaque structures which may be used by criminals and terrorists to hide the real beneficiaries of a transaction (including for tax evasion purposes). The Commission developed its own methodology  to identify high-risk countries, which relies on information from the Financial Action Task Force, complemented by its own expertise and other sources such as Europol. The result is a more ambitious approach for identifying countries with deficiencies posing risks to the EU financial system. The decision to list any previously unlisted country reflects the current assessment of the risks in accordance with the new methodology. It does not mean the situation has deteriorated since the list was last updated.
The new list published today replaces the one currently in place since July 2018.
For more information
Delegated Regulation: EU list of high-risk third countries https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/criminal-justice/anti-money-laundering-and-counter-terrorist-financing_en
Methodology for identifying high-risk third countries
Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive
Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32018L0843
The 23 jurisdictions are:
(2) American Samoa,
(3) The Bahamas,
(5) Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,
(15) Puerto Rico,
(17) Saudi Arabia,
(18) Sri Lanka,
(20) Trinidad and Tobago,
(22) US Virgin Islands,
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