The European Union on Wednesday announced it has added Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Panama and other jurisdictions to a list of blacklisted nations that pose a global threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering.
The blacklisted nation’s list currently includes 23 jurisdictions, up from 16. The commission has also included some of the other countries including Libya, Botswana, Ghana, Samoa, the Bahamas, and the four United States territories of American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam, reported CNBC.
Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad, Tobago, Tunisia, and Yemen are among the other listed states. Bosnia Herzegovina, Guyana, Laos, Uganda, and Vanuatu were among the ones which have been removed from the list.
According to Reuters, the EU’s criteria used to blacklist countries include low sanctions against money laundering and financing terrorism, insufficient cooperation with the EU and lack of transparency regarding company beneficiaries.
The inclusion of name in the list not only leads to reputational damage but also complicates the country’s financial relations with the EU. The bloc’s banks will have to carry out additional checks on payments involving entities from listed jurisdictions.
The 28 EU states now have one month’s time, which can even be extended to another one month, to endorse the list. They could reject it by qualified majority.
Vera Jourova, the EU Justice Commissioner who proposed the list, said during a news conference that she was confident states would not block it.
She said it was the right time to act as risks posed by the listed countries spread like wildfire in the banking sector.
Despite pressure to exclude Saudi Arabia from the list, the commission decided to list the kingdom. The Saudi government said it regretted the decision. Meanwhile, Panama advocated that it recently adopted stronger rules against money laundering, so, it should be removed from the list.