Nepal could be out of the watch list of global anti-money laundering watchdog by June.

Talking to media here today, finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said that Nepal would be removed from the watch-list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June.

“We hope the FATF plenary meeting in June in Moscow will remove Nepal’s name from the watch list as the Legislature-Parliament has already endorsed five Acts related to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism,” he informed.
The international body that creates standards for fighting financial crime – FATF – has kept Nepal under its scanner as the country failed to approve the laws according to its promise to the international community.

However, the Legislature-Parliament had recently ratified Proceeds of Crime (Confiscating, Seizing and Freezing) Act, Mutual Legal Assistance Act, Organised Crime Control Act and Extradition Act and amendment of Money Laundering Prevention Act.

“Because of delayed endorsement of the Acts, Nepal has been under the scanner of FATF,” he said, adding that the plenary meeting in Paris in February has kept Nepal under status-quo. “Once, the Moscow plenary  puts Nepal out of the watch list, the country need not worry about being blacklisted, at least for the next four to five years but focus on proper implementation of the legislation, their necessary amendment and addition of necessary new laws.”

However, he said that the effective implementation of laws is important because of mutual evaluation to be conducted by FATF in 2017-18 that will not only assess Nepal’s laws and institutional infrastructure but also implementation of laws and their effectiveness.

Nepal has fulfilled its all 15 commitments – out of 40+9 recommendations – to FATF. The removal of country’s name from the FATF watch list will help whitewash Nepal its image in the international community.

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