GAFILAT Panama recognizes advances in financial transparency


The organization brings together 16 countries in the Americas to combat money laundering and terrorist financing

The Financial Action Task Force in Latin America (GAFILAT) acknowledged the progress of Panama in financial transparency, according to an official source said today, as part of the controversial roles of Panama.

The organization, which groups 16 countries in the Americas to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, said in a statement that the Central American country approved major changes to its legislation to criminalize these offenses, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF ) Panamanian.

He further stressed that the decision of the plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to exclude Panama from the Grey List in February 2016 was taken after a site visit to the country in January, in which these modifications were confirmed to its frame legal and implementation.

The FATF included Panama from 2014 on the Grey List for not doing enough to help with the prevention of money laundering, which the country committed in 2015 and met with legal reforms to increase the prosecution of this offense.

Among the changes made by Panama are approved laws to criminalize money laundering and terrorist financing in April 2015. Also, the regulations issued in December 2014 to restrict bearer shares by requiring identification of the beneficial corporations when opening bank accounts.

Similarly regulations were issued in August 2015 to cover non-financial sectors, including real estate, legal services and money transmitters.

«Panama has come a long way in financial transparency in recent years and continue to advance, without pause or truce,» said Panamanian Vice Minister of Finance, Eyda Varela Chinchilla, according to the statement of the MEF.

The GAFILAT further noted that Panama will be evaluated in the context of the Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation next year, according to the plan established to improve your system Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML / CFT).

The platform of financial business Panama is again under scrutiny after the massive leak, on April 3, documents the firm Mosscak Fonseca, known as the roles of Panama, which uncovered the operations of this company in the creation of companies «offshore» with which great fortunes allegedly evaded the tax authorities in their countries.

Following this scandal, France included again to Panama on a list of tax havens, which was excluded in 2011.