US voices ‘significant concerns’ over new EU money laundering blacklist

The US Treasury said on Wednesday it had "significant concerns" about the substance of a European Union Commission proposal to put 23 non-EU countries and terrirorities on a money laundering and terrorist financing blacklist. (AFP)
Updated 13 February 2019
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US voices ‘significant concerns’ over new EU money laundering blacklist

  • US financial institutions will "not take into account" list, which includes Saudi Arabia
  • The list must be approved by the European Parliament and EU members

BRUSSELS: The US Treasury said on Wednesday it had "significant concerns" about the substance of a European Union Commission proposal to put 23 non-EU countries and terrirorities on a money laundering and terrorist financing blacklist.

The list of countries, which includes Saudi Arabia, was released on Tuesday and names states the EU Commission believes to pose a high risk when it comes to money laundering or funding terrorist activities.

A US Treasury statement said that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global standard-setting body for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.

The statement said the FATF, which includes the US, the European Commission, 15 EU member states, and 20 other jurisdictions, already develops a list of high-risk countries as part of a careful and comprehensive process.

The US treasury said the EU commission had not given the countries concerned sufficient time to discuss regulations, adding that it did not expect the US financial institutions to take the EU list into account in their policies and procedures.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said on Wednesday that the list, which also named countries like North Korea and Nigeria, will be used to increase checks and investigations on financial operations to find any "suspicious money flows."

Jourova said that "we have to make sure that dirty money from other countries does not find its way to our financial system." She said that "Europe cannot be a laundromat for dirty money."

The European Parliament and the member states must now approve the list over the next weeks.


Official count shows Widodo reelected as Indonesian leader

Updated 37 min 39 sec ago
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Official count shows Widodo reelected as Indonesian leader

  • Widodo’s challenger for a second time, former general Prabowo Subianto, has refused to accept defeat and declared himself the winner last month
  • Police this month have arrested 31 Islamic militants they say planned to set off bombs during expected street protests against the election result
JAKARTA, Indonesia: The official count from last month’s Indonesian presidential election shows President Joko Widodo won 55.5% of the vote, the Election Commission said Tuesday, securing him a second term.
The formal result from the April 17 election was almost the same as the preliminary “quick count” results drawn from a sample of polling stations on election day.
Widodo’s challenger for a second time, former general Prabowo Subianto, has refused to accept defeat and declared himself the winner last month.
Thousands of police and soldiers are on high alert in the capital Jakarta, anticipating protests from Subianto’s supporters.
Subianto has alleged massive election fraud in the world’s third-largest democracy but hasn’t provided any credible evidence. Votes are counted publicly and the commission posts the tabulation form from each polling station on its website, allowing for independent verification.
Counting was completed just before midnight and the Election Commission announced the results early Tuesday before official witnesses from both campaigns.
“We reject the results of the presidential election,” said Azis Subekti, one of the witnesses for Subianto. “This refusal is a moral responsibility for us to not give up the fight against injustice, fraud, arbitrariness, lies, and any actions that will harm democracy.”
Under Indonesia’s election law, Subianto can dispute the results at the Constitutional Court.
He and members of his campaign team have said they will mobilize “people power” for days of street protests rather than appeal to the court because they don’t believe it will provide justice.
In a video released after results were announced, Subianto again refused to concede defeat but called on supporters to refrain from violence.
Police this month have arrested 31 Islamic militants they say planned to set off bombs during expected street protests against the election result.