Government action plan will deal with grey listing

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The South African Cabinet’s International Co-operation, Trade and Security (ICTS) cluster notes the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) decision to list South Africa as a “jurisdiction under increased monitoring”, commonly referred to as FATF’s “grey list”.

In a statement published on the official government news site SAnews, the cluster said Cabinet considered an action plan and is committed to “actively work with the FATF to swiftly and effectively address outstanding deficiencies”.

South Africa was put on a “grey list” recently for falling short of certain international standards for the combating of money laundering and other serious financial crimes a portion of the report has it verbatim.

FATF assessed South Africa needed to make further and sustained progress addressing eight areas of strategic deficiencies related to the effective implementation of South Africa’s anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws set out in the FATF statement.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, according to SAnews, said most deficiencies relate to implementation of laws. For example, the country needs to be able to demonstrate, among others, an increase in investigation and prosecution of serious and complex money laundering and terrorism financing.

This includes an increase in mutual legal assistance requests to other countries, an increase in the use of financial intelligence by law enforcement agencies and effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions.

“Our action plan to address these deficiencies is aligned with the work we are doing to implement recommendations of the State Capture Commission as outlined in our submission to Parliament in October last year,” the President is quoted as saying in the SAnews report.

Like all countries South Africa is dealing with the shifting sands of globalised crime and criminal syndicates according to the South African supremo who added the challenge facing authorities is to anticipate criminal innovation and respond swiftly and effectively.

“Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, the country has sought to build credible, independent institutions and implement effective laws to deal with complex financial crimes of this nature,” SAnews has it.