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Apr 18, 2023

CFATF Assesses Belize’s Preparedness to Combat Financial Crimes

Prime Minister John Briceño

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) is carrying out a mutual evaluation exercise on Belize. The evaluation is being done to assess the strength of Belize’s technical compliance in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Technical compliance includes the assessments of relevant laws and regulations in Belize in comparison with the international standards set by Financial Action Task Force. Belize will be required to demonstrate that its laws are fully or at a minimum largely compliant with the task force’s recommendations. To this end, Belize’s National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC) has recommended a comprehensive suite of legislative reforms to include new investigation tools and confiscation measures, among other recommendations. As a result, we’ve seen legislations such as the Non-Profit Organizations Bill, the Extradition Bill and Civil Asset Recovery Bill brought before Parliament.  Notably, failure to address the areas of deficiencies identified could lead to the blacklisting of Belize as Prime Minister John Briceño pointed out to reporters back in March outside of the National Assembly building.


Prime Minister John Briceño (File: Mar 2, 2023)

“These are things that are being forced upon us by the international community when it comes to the issue of money laundering and anti-terrorism and that kind of stuff and we have no control over it. The NGO Bill is very straight forward and we are saying is that you just need to give an account of where you are getting your money from, just for reporting to the FIU so that the international community they can see that we are doing our part. We cannot take any risk when it comes to the issue of the corresponding banking situation. We lost about eighty percent of the corresponding banking relationships we had earlier, ten years ago. So the ones we have we have to do everything possible to keep time. Right now the Financial Action Task Force from the Caribbean will be making a new review of our work by the end of December. They will be here in June to see how far we are and these are some of the obligations that they have imposed on us.”


Belize is obligated to submit technical compliance information by June second, 2023.

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