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Sunday, Apr 11, 2021
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FATF keeps Panama on gray list but recognizes improvements

Despite the fact that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recognizes Panama's "continuous progress" in its fight against money laundering, it reported that the country remains on its gray list of nations under intensified monitoring.
This is because all the items in the action plan or deadlines have already expired.

Among the main advances made by Panama, which has been on this list since 2019, is:

- The completion and publication of the risk analysis on Terrorism Financing, with technical support from the World Bank.
- The classification of the crimes of tax fraud and sending remittances without a license.
- The creation of the Superintendency of Non-Financial Subjects.
- The adoption of the Law that creates the Private and Unique Registry System of Final Beneficiary of legal persons.

However, for GAFI Panama must continue working on the implementation of its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, and for this it recommends:

- Strengthen your understanding of risk and report the findings to your national policies to mitigate the identified risks.
- Continue to take steps to identify unlicensed money senders, apply a risk-based approach to monitoring, and ensure effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions against violations.
- Establish effective mechanisms to monitor the activities of offshore entities, evaluating the existing risks of misuse of legal entities and arrangements to define and implement specific measures to prevent misuse of nominee shareholders and directors.
- Continue to use FIU products for ML investigations, demonstrating its ability to investigate and prosecute ML involving foreign tax offenses and continue to provide constructive and timely international cooperation for such offenses.

For its part, the Government of Panama recognizes that there are still concrete actions to be completed. The State highlighted that its comprehensive strategy is based on having a real diagnosis of the needs to be attended and the expectations of the different evaluating groups; in carrying out technical and political approaches with relevant actors; and to procure the coordinated work of all the institutions of the country involved.

In addition to Panama, the gray list includes Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Senegal, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
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