The government of the Bahamas has defended its "highest standards in the fight against money laundering," in a robust response to the EU's recent announcement that it's considering adding the jurisdiction to its blacklist.
As reported by International Investment last week, the EU is poised to add 12 countries, including the Bahamas, to its blacklist of jurisdictions it considers to be in breach of international measures to counter money laundering.
In a statement issued by the Office of the Attorey-General and Legal Affairs, the Bahamas said: "We are engaged with EU officials at the highest diplomatic and political level to demonstrate the strength of the Bahamas' AML/CTF regime.
The Bahamas remains fully committed to the highest standards of compliance with every internationally agreed standard of conduct."
The statement emphasised, "The Bahamas maintains that it is attaining the highest standards in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and other identified financial crimes risks. The Bahamas remains fully committed to the highest standards of compliance with every internationally agreed standard of conduct."
The Caribbean jurisdiction, which is also part of the British Commonwealth, underlined that it remains fully compliant on tax co-operation and transparency and is not included on any EU blacklist for tax purposes.
In its statement the government pointed out the "principal stated reason for the inclusion of the Bahamas was the inclusion of The Bahamas on the US Financial Action Task Force (FATF) list of jurisdictions with strategic AML deficiencies, known as the Grey List."
"The FATF has acknowledged that the Bahamas has remediated the issues identified in its assessment of our antimoney laundering framework and had agreed to an onsite inspection as part of the formal process of exiting the Grey List. This onsite visit was scheduled for April 2020 but had to be postponed as a result of the covid-pandemic," the Office of the Attorney-General said.
The statement added: "The Bahamas will continue to liaise with the FATF to ensure the on-site inspection takes place as soon as possible with a view to the Bahamas being removed from the Grey List prior to finalization of the EU AML blacklist in October, 2020."