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The BBC's James Coomarasamy reports from Paris
"The list is part of a wider campaign against money laundering"
 real 28k

Patrick Moulette, Financial Action Task Force
"They did not comply with the minimum international standards"
 real 28k

Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Suspect financial centres named
Beach
Easy money: Some Caribbean nations are offshore banking havens
Fifteen countries have been named as failing to co-operate in the fight against international money laundering.

The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering - which was set up by the G7 group of major industrialised nations - said it had investigated 31 countries, before drawing up the list.

French Finance Minister Laurent Fabius immediately said that France was ready to take sanctions and even to end all financial relations of any type with the 15 countries listed.

Most of the culprits are Caribbean islands - such as the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands - well-known as offshore banking havens.

Other states which the FATF says need to implement stricter controls and checks on international movements of money include Israel, Russia, Liechtenstein and the Philippines.


Full FATF list
Bahamas
Cayman islands
Cook Islands
Dominican Republic
Israel
Lebanon
Liechtenstein
Marshall Islands
Nauru
Niue
Panama
Philippines
Russia
St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and the Grenadines
The 16-nation Caribbean Community tried without success to halt publication of the list of "non-cooperative" financial centres.

"Caribbean countries feel there is a second agenda ... to claw back revenues coming to the offshore centres because of their competitiveness," said Calvin Wilson, the region's chief money-laundering regulatory official.

Many Caribbean nations depend on offshore banking for much of their revenue.

The United Nations estimates that $600bn in criminal funds is laundered every year, and about $60bn is estimated to pass through Caribbean offshore centres.

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01 Apr 00 | Business
Crackdown on money laundering
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