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Morocco Off Money Crimes List After Clearing Regulatory Hurdles

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In a decision announced Friday in Paris, The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) unanimously removed Morocco from the grey list, during the FATF General Assembly, held on 20-24 February, 2023.

This report, the basis on which Morocco has been removed from the grey list, welcomed the Kingdom’s formal political commitment to the compliance of the national system of combating money laundering and terrorist financing, with international standards, as well as the full compliance with all its commitments within the set deadlines.

“The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided, unanimously by its members, to remove the Kingdom of Morocco from the enhanced monitoring process, known as ‘grey list’, after assessing the compliance of the national system with international standards relating to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, since the adoption by the FATF in February 2021, of the action plan specific to the Kingdom of Morocco. This decision was taken at the FATF General Assembly, held in Paris, France, on February 20th-24th, 2023,” said the Head of Government Department in a statement.

It added that Morocco’s removal from the grey list “will have a positive impact on sovereign ratings and local banks’ ratings,” as well as “strengthen Morocco’s image and its positioning in negotiations with international financial institutions, as well as the confidence of foreign investors in the national economy.”

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In order to consolidate the gains made in recent years, the Kingdom of Morocco reiterated its strong commitment to continue strengthening the national system of combating money laundering and terrorist financing, in accordance with the evolution of international standards in this area, and stressed that this commitment now has a strategic and institutional character aimed at preserving the national financial system against the dangers of financial crimes.

This was in spite of efforts by a ‘bad seed’ North African neighbour of the Kingdom to taint Maroc’s image; even as South Africa got grey listed for inadequacies in similar areas.

The decision to remove Morocco from the enhanced monitoring process, known as “grey list”, crowns the efforts and proactive actions of the Kingdom of Morocco, pursuant to the High Royal Directives. These have focused on a battery of legislative, organizational, awareness and control measures, implemented by the various national authorities and institutions concerned, under the coordination of the National Financial Intelligence Authority, in partnership with legal persons subject to public or private law.

This FATF’s decision comes after the positive conclusions contained in the report of the group’s experts, issued at the end of the field visit undertaken in Morocco on 16th-18th January, 2023, notes the same source.

In separate news, a contingent of continental journalists on a literal field visit to Morocco visited six stadia (with attendant football games) across Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier, Agadir, Fez and Marrakesh over 12 days in February. It was affirmed, on the ground, that the Kingdom of Morocco is best placed to host the AFCON tournament in 2025, on grounds of both preparation and excellent infrastructure.

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TONY MOCHAMA
TONY MOCHAMAhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Tony Mochama is a columnist, freelance journalist and author based in Nairobi. Email: [email protected]
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