In response to an invitation from Sri Lanka’s Financial Intelligence Unit, a high-level delegation from the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) visited Sri Lanka recently. The high-level delegation consisted of eminent personalities, including Mr. Julien Brazeau: APG Co-Chair and Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Canada’s Department of Finance in Ottawa within the Financial Sector Policy Branch, Dr. Gordon Hook: Executive Secretary, APG and Mr. David Shannon: Director Mutual Evaluations, APG.
Their aim was to provide crucial insights ahead of the upcoming mutual evaluation of Sri Lanka’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Framework.
The APG, an integral regional monitoring body under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), focuses on guiding member jurisdictions in implementing international standards to combat money laundering (ML), terrorism financing (TF) and proliferation financing related to weapons of mass destruction (PFWMD). FATF oversees about 200 countries through nine regional bodies.
Sri Lanka has faced “Grey List” designation twice by FATF, in 2011 and 2017, with the European Union also blacklisting the nation in 2017 due to non-compliance.
Sri Lanka’s 3rd Mutual Evaluation is set for March 2025. It’s crucial to achieve Technical Compliance with FATF’s 40 Recommendations and ensure effective AML/CFT framework results. The country is actively engaging 24 stakeholders in this effort, coordinated by the Financial Intelligence Unit.
During the 3-day visit, the delegation met with key Sri Lankan figures, including the President, Chief Justice, Foreign Minister, Attorney General and Central Bank Governor. Sri Lanka’s leadership recognizes the importance of the upcoming mutual evaluation for economic and societal security.
To prepare effectively and avoid economic consequences tied to FATF grey-listing, Sri Lanka prioritizes Focus on Effectiveness:
By diligently following these priorities, Sri Lanka aims to secure a positive outcome in its mutual evaluation and mitigate the economic consequences associated with FATF Grey-Listing. Stakeholders are committed to addressing AML/CFT Framework gaps effectively.
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