Bulgaria is the latest country to be identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as a jurisdiction under increased monitoring for money laundering and terrorist and proliferation financing.
The FATF announced updates to its so-called “grey list” on Friday. While Bulgaria was the lone country added, four others—Albania, the Cayman Islands, Jordan, and Panama—were removed after satisfying certain recommendations put forward by the global money laundering and terrorism financing watchdog.
“Jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing,” said the organization. “When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolve swiftly the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring.”
Among objectives set by the FATF for Bulgaria included the country:
- Implementing its national anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) strategy through adopting a comprehensive action plan and addressing remaining technical compliance deficiencies;
- Implementing risk-based supervision for postal money operators, currency exchange providers, and real estate agents;
- Refreshing registered beneficial ownership information to ensure accuracy; and
- Improving investigations and prosecutions of different types of money laundering.
Of the countries removed from the grey list, Panama had spent the longest time working with the FATF—since June 2019—to address the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime. Albania was identified in February 2020, the Cayman Islands in February 2021, and Jordan in October 2021.
Each of the countries were cautioned to continue working to sustain improvements to their respective AML/CFT systems.
Jurisdictions that remain on the FATF’s list include Barbados, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Croatia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gibraltar, Haiti, Jamaica, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Yemen.