On 18th December, Eye Witness News reported that the re-evaluation had found the country compliant with the majority of FATF recommendations. FATF said its report does not address what progress has been made to improve effectiveness, and that a later follow-up assessment will analyse progress on effectiveness, and could result in another re-rating of immediate outcomes at that time. The Bahamas will remain in enhanced follow-up on the basis that it had a low or moderate level of effectiveness for 7 or more of the 11 effectiveness outcomes. The articles goes on to mention some of the measures taken by the Bahamas to meet FATF requirements.
FATF FOLLOW-UP REPORT ON THE BAHAMAS
The report itself is available online. It is a follow-up to the 2017 mutual evaluation of the country. The Bahamas has been re-rated on Recommendations 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 17, 18, 23, 25, 30, 32 and 35. However, based on the revisions to the revisions to Recommendations 8 and 21, the ratings remain unchanged. Whilst the regional body (CFATF) welcomed steps taken to improve its technical compliance with Recommendations 5, 7, 19, 22, 26, 27, 28, 33; it said that insufficient progress has been made to justify a re-rating of these Recommendations.
On 18th December, an article from Dentons says that on 20th November, the parliament passed the Developers (Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Bill (the AML Bill). It says that real estate has been flagged out as one of the target non-financial sectors that may encounter money laundering and terrorism financing activities. The article details the Bill’s objectives, and the key responsibilities and duties of developers introduced by it. Developers must not open or maintain any account for, or hold and receive moneys from an anonymous source or a purchaser with an obviously fictitious name, and developers must perform prescribed CDD measures. A developer must also implement adequate programmes and measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as having adequate record-keeping and the ability to report suspicious transactions. The new law introduces a new definition of ‘purchaser’ which is very wide and refers to a person to whom the developer grants an Option to Purchase or who agrees to purchase a unit from the developer, and includes a prospective purchaser. Those convicted of money laundering and terrorist financing offences may not be developers.
NK News on 18th December carried an article that says that the Panamanian Government deregistered 9 vessels from its merchant registry in order to comply with UN Security Council sanctions, according to the country’s most recent national implementation report. Paragraph 12 of the UN SCR 2397 (2017) says that member states “shall de-register any vessel it has reasonable grounds to believe was involved in activities, or the transport of items,” prohibited by existing Resolutions. The ships listed in the report were the Koti, Koya, Orient Shenyu, An Quan Zhou 66, Surplus Ocean 1, Glory Hope 6, Hai Shun 158, Billions 88 and Great Spring. Apart from the Koti, none of the other vessels named currently appear on the UN or US Treasury sanctions lists. However, the article notes apparent discrepancies between the list of ships named in the report and those named in earlier Banned Vessels Lists published by the Panamanian Maritime Authority. It also notes information that that the Hai Shun 158 has since been renamed twice in 2018 to become Pedan and then the Putina, and that, in 2018 Billions No. 88 and Great Spring were renamed to become Twins Bull and Great Roc. The report is also said to mention other efforts made by Panama to implement and enforce the sanctions, including seeking assistance to be “able to track the vessels involved using the long-range identification and tracking system carried by the vessels that are part of the merchant registry”, and requesting financial assistance in order to achieve this by contracting an unnamed private company to provide the tracking services.
On 27th November, NK Pro reported that Panama had deregistered an oil tanker called New Regent, previously listed by the UN for its role in smuggling oil on behalf of North Korea.
The current Restricted Vessel List issued by the Panama Maritime Authority in March, which includes those affected by North Korean sanctions, is at –