The United National Party (UNP) has challenged the statement by Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal that Sri Lanka was not listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for money laundering by end-2014.
UNP Working Committee Member Dinouk Colombage speaking to Mirror Business stated that on June 24, 2011, the FATF released a public statement listing Sri Lanka alongside countries such as Myanmar, Syria and Turkey for not making “sufficient progress in implementing its action plan and certain strategic AML/CFT deficiencies remain”.
Sri Lanka was once again highlighted by the FATF on June 22, 2012, for continuing to fail to enact any measure to address the deficiencies regarding anti-money laundering. In 2015, following a jointly agreed on-site visit by the FATF in December 2014, a mutual evaluation report was published that identified in detail Sri Lanka’s shortcomings.
“It is clear that since 2011, Sri Lanka has been shortlisted by the FATF as a risk for money laundering. With the new government having taken office in January 2015, measures had been undertaken to address concerns regarding money laundering in the country. In October 2017, Sri Lanka was ‘grey listed’ by the FATF. In October 2019, the country was removed from the grey list, following remedial measures implemented by the UNP government,” Colombage said.
Meanwhile, he said discussions and drafting of the legislation of the Colombo International Financial Centre by the UNP was carried in accordance with the measures being undertaken to remove Sri Lanka from the grey list.
Colombage said the UNP is now concerned that failure on the part of the government to ensure a transparent drafting of the relevant legislation for the Port City would result in Sri Lanka being placed on the grey list once again.