France has considered effective in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has given France a thumbs up in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, in its first country assessment report since 2011. France is fighting . “effective”judges the intergovernmental body, which recommends, however, improvements, including a better supervision of certain professions exposed to financial crimes, such as real estate.

The FATF, an intergovernmental body created in 1989 and which brings together 39 member countries, aims to clean up the international financial system by encouraging governments to adopt legislation against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Also publish a “gray list” of countries subject to heightened surveillance.

In its first evaluation report on France since 2011, the FATF highlights the “Considerable work to identify risks” led by the country, which allows“Have a good and relatively uniform understanding of the risks of money laundering, and a very good understanding of the risks” regarding the financing of terrorism. “Generally, law enforcement policies and activities adequately reflect the identified risks”summarizes the organization after two and a half years of auditing.

For money laundering as well as for the financing of terrorism, “The Fighting System” implemented by the authorities through various mechanisms and structures “is effective in many ways” and has, from the point of view of the “technical compliance, a solid and sophisticated legal framework”notes the FATF.

Regarding terrorism only, France, “particularly marked by the terrorist attacks of 2015, he made the fight against terrorism and its financing one of his top priorities and achieved very good results”says the report.

The FATF does not rank the countries it rates. Ma “Compared to the results of other countries, France is the most effective country in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism”affirms Didier Banquy, president of the Orientation Council for the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism (COLB), which depends on the direction of the French Treasury.

“No hole in the racket”

He is glad that the report does not point “No structural failure, no hole in the racket” but “adjustments to be made. We will gradually integrate these recommendations into our action plan.”, he said in an interview with reporters. In terms of efficiency, France thus obtains the best rating (ranked between “high”, “significant”, “moderate”, “weak”) for international cooperation, seizures and confessions, investigations and prosecutions in the financing of terrorism.

It is, however, assigned a level “moderate” for the supervision and implementation of preventive measures, for which it is recommended “significant improvements”. In particular, the low number of suspicious transaction reports sent to Tracfin, Bercy’s anti-laundering unit, by certain professions is reported.

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These mandatory reports – in case of doubt about the origin of sums of money for example – are “heterogeneous”. “Notaries, casinos and online games, judicial administrators and legal representatives [en] submit a significant number. Others are still submitting only a small number”notes the FATF, which emphasizes in particular that “the efforts of real estate agents and domiciliation companies must be strengthened”.

For some of these occupations, “The supervision is still recent and remains insufficient, especially for real estate agents and notaries who are involved in a real estate sector exposed to significant money laundering risks”says the FATF.

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From the side of the general direction of the French Treasury, it is explained that this sector says “”Non-financial” is subject to anti-money laundering and terrorism more recently than the financial sector, and therefore there is, by definition, a ramp-up that must be done”. The FATF also recommends “strengthen the staff specifically trained and dedicated to the fight against money laundering, in particular, with the local investigative services, overseas and in the investigation”.

The world with AFP

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