The European Commission has unveiled a list of 23 countries which it says have “strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks”.
The announcement is likely to set off a fierce lobbying effort by the affected countries, which include the likes of Nigeria, Libya, Panama and Saudi Arabia which have extensive financial dealings with Europe.
“We have to make sure that dirty money from other countries does not find its way to our financial system,” said Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, when announcing the list on February 13. “Dirty money is the lifeblood of organised crime and terrorism. I invite the countries listed to remedy their deficiencies swiftly.”
Other countries on the list include Botswana, Ghana and Libya and a host of small Pacific and Caribbean island states such as Guam, Samoa, The Bahamas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.