Lip service to AML requirements: Are Sri Lankan designated institutions skating on thin ice?


The recent announcement by the European Union (EU) blacklisting 20 odd jurisdictions for their failure to adhere to anti money laundering requirements (AML) comes as no surprise as all these jurisdictions have been forewarned by the EU, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other agencies of lax AML compliance. 

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, and Yemen. Currently Sri Lanka has also been identified by FATF as a jurisdiction with strategic deficiencies.

In October 2018, FATF issued a strong statement on its assessment of Sri Lanka:“Since November 2017, when Sri Lanka made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and address any related technical deficiencies,

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