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Ofori-Atta: Removal from EU money laundering blacklist will boost confidence

The Minister for Finance says the decision to remove Ghana from the money laundering blacklist will also increase foreign direct investment into the country

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance, says the European Union’s decision to remove Ghana from its money-laundering blacklist will boost the integrity of the country’s financial environment and raise investor confidence in the EU and beyond.

Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday (30 June), Ofori-Atta said: “The good news is that Ghana is finally off the FATF list.

“The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) took this decision on 23 June, when it was unanimously agreed that Ghana has satisfactorily completed its action plan after the international review group had submitted their report.”

He added, “By this decision, FATF and the international community has renewed its confidence in Ghana’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regime. 

Significant progress

“This is a great relief for the country, considering the economic consequences suffered by countries that are greylisted. This will boost the confidence and integrity of our financial environment and also boost foreign direct investment,” Ofori-Atta said.

The FATF on Friday (25 June) said that Ghana was no longer under its increased monitoring process but announced that other nations are now on the list.

“The FATF welcomes Ghana’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT [anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism] regime.

“Ghana has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in October 2018.

“Ghana is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. Ghana will continue to work with GIABA to improve further its AML/CFT regime,” a statement issued by the FATF said.

The FATF, a global action to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, also said that Haiti, Malta, the Philippines and South Sudan are “new jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring”.

Blacklisting

In May 2020, the European Union (EU) blacklisted Ghana with many other countries for money laundering.

Three other African countries were also blacklisted – Botswana, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.

The EU said under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), the Commission has revised its list, taking into account developments at the international level since 2018 and that the “new list is now better aligned with the lists published by the FATF”.

The other affected countries are the Bahamas, Barbados, Cambodia, Jamaica, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua and Panama.

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