We resolved to never get blacklisted again – Masisi

President Mokgweetsi Masisi. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
President Mokgweetsi Masisi. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Following The Bahamas and Botswana's removal from the global money-laundering greylist in 2020 and 2021 respectively, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has revealed that Botswana is exchanging notes with the Caribbean country.

This, he said, is to ensure that the two small countries never return to the infamous blacklist. Masisi, who discussed with The Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis at the two-day Global Citizen NOW 2024 Summit held in New York, USA recently, indicated that both countries share a history of being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). He said as a result they have resolved to never end up back on the greylist as they exchange notes through their regulatory institutions, financial sectors, and ministries. Masisi emphasised that the two countries will make sure that they never regress. The FATF, the world’s leading multinational anti-money laundering agency, placed Botswana on its greylist in 2018 citing deficiencies in its money laundering structures, leading the European Union to place the country on a blacklist in 2019.

Masisi happily announced in late 2021 that FATF had ended a three-year censure that had impacted Botswana’s investment charm. The negative listing increased the cost of local financial institutions doing business with international banks and other organisations due to the higher due diligence that is applied to them. The listing by the global bodies has also dulled the country’s much-hailed investment climate. In 2020, The Bahamas was officially removed from the FATF greylist of nations deemed to have deficiencies in their anti-financial crime defences. This followed the FATF conducting an on-site visit to the country. The FATF then congratulated The Bahamas for the ‘significant progress’ it had made in improving its Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT), and Counter-Financing of Proliferation (CFP) regime. The FATF stated that The Bahamas had strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT system and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan and remedy the strategic deficiencies identified by the FATF in October 2018. Masisi further disclosed that Botswana in making sure that its name never makes it back to the list, adding the country is linking up with some leading global companies, institutions, organisations, and countries such as The Bahamas.

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