CBSL seeks Auditors’ help to stop money laundering

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By 2018-02-14

By Ishara Gamage

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has urged accounting and auditing professionals to be vigilant about suspected cases of money laundering and has instructed them to report such cases to CBSL immediately, a top CBSL official told Ceylon FT. The Bank also reviews policies for anti-money laundering in the casino and gaming industry.

The Bank has already issued directions relating to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) to the Banking and Finance sector. The CBSL is now working to have Sri Lanka removed from the European Union's list of countries at risk of money laundering and expects to have the country off the list by November.

"Now we are reviewing other segments of society to strengthen Sri Lanka's anti-money laundering laws. Therefore, we have issued new AML/CTF related reporting guidelines to the Sri Lankan accounting and auditing bodies", he said.The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global 'policy-making body' which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system, has put Sri Lanka on a grey list from November last year. Later, the European Parliament added Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago to the European Commission's blacklist of non-EU countries seen as having 'strategic' deficiencies in anti-money laundering and terrorism financing......regimes, after a motion to reject their inclusion fell short of the 376-vote absolute majority.

Only 357 Members of the European Parliament, or MEPs, voted in support of the motion not to include the three countries in the list of 'high-risk third countries' that the Commission is obliged to draw up in accordance with the EU's Anti-money Laundering Directive. Two hundred and eighty-three voted against the motion and 26 abstained, the Parliament said in a statement.
The two bodies have already agreed on a new methodology for adding and removing countries, which will be introduced from the end of 2018.

Some MEPs have requested that Tunisia be delisted immediately, but Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová declined the request on
5 February. She was quoted as saying in a statement to Parliament that the Commission would reassess Tunisia's progress "as early as possible" in 2018.
"However, we are not there yet," she added.




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