Panama has been unsuccessful in being removed from FATF's grey list as the global organisation says the country still has deficiencies in its anti-money laundering rules.
According to FATF, Panama stills need to strengthen its understanding and mitigation of anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing (AML/CTF) risks; proactively identify unlicensed money remitters; supervise the non-financial sector and enforce sanctions against infringers; enforce adequate verification and update of beneficial ownership information by obliged entities, and access to it by government
It also needs to effectively monitor the activities of offshore entities; assess and counter the misuse of legal persons and nominee shareholders and directors; and investigate and prosecute foreign tax crimes and provide constructive international cooperation.
Panama should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies"
"Panama should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies," the organisation said. This is a heavy blow to Panama, after the Latin American nation made a high-level political commitment to implement the FATF recommendations.
A visit to the jurisdiction later in 2019 by International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegates confirmed that the Panamanian authorities were fully committed to achieving de-listing. "The authorities aim to be out of this list as soon as it is possible", reported the IMF."Sustained efforts to enhance the anti-money laundering framework and tax transparency will be crucial to strengthen Panama's position as a regional financial centre."
When FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to swiftly resolve the identified strategic deficiencies by agreed deadlines. Panama was put on the grey list in June 2019.