A new United kingdom legislation has blacklisted Ghana as one of the 21 high-risk countries with unsatisfactory money laundering and terrorist financing control measures.
The list which was published by the UK Government under “The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (High-Risk Countries) Regulations 2021” has been approved by both Houses of the UK’s Parliament.
The list came into force on March 26, 2021, as part of post-Brexit developments.
Until the end of the Brexit transition period, the list of high-risk countries was determined by the European Union (EU) under the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, in which Nigeria was included.
However, the UK parliament has decided to remove Nigeria from its own standalone list.
The full list of high-risk third countries includes Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Jamaica, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Senegal, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
The UK government in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria said the new list of high-risk third world countries has been issued for the purposes of enhanced customer due diligence requirements.
“These Regulations amend the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/692) (“the MLRs”) to insert as Schedule 3ZA a new UK list of high-risk third countries for the purposes of enhanced customer due diligence requirements,” it said.
“Regulation 2 substitutes for the definition of “high-risk third country” in regulation 33(3)(a) of the MLRs a definition which refers to the list of countries in this Schedule, rather than to the list in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1675 of 14th July 2016 supplementing Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council by identifying high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies (“the CDR”). It also makes a consequential amendment to a further reference to the CDR. Regulation 3 revokes the CDR.”
Nigeria’s exemption comes as a surprise due to the history of money laundering cases on Nigeria’s past leaders in UK courts.
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