Financial crime watchdog FATF adds Congo to money laundering watch list

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KINSHASA (Reuters) – The Financial Action Task Force plans to put Democratic Republic of Congo on a list of countries subject to increased monitoring, the country’s Communications Minister Patrick Muyaya said.

Congo, a major cobalt and copper producer, will go on the global financial crime watchdog’s so-called “grey list” of deficient countries no later than Oct. 21 for shortcomings in stamping out financial corruption, including money laundering and anti-terrorist financing.

Finance Minister Nicolas Kazadi said on Friday that Congo was “under enhanced surveillance” by the Financial Action Task Force and assured ministers that he would follow its recommendations.

In addition to further task force scrutiny, countries on the grey list risk reputational damage, ratings adjustments, trouble obtaining global finance and higher transaction costs, experts say.

Twenty-three countries are on the list, including African nations Mali, Uganda, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Morocco.

Congolese officials are invited to a task force meeting in France from Oct 18-21, according to a note sent on Sept. 30 by the General Secretariat of the Congolese Financial Intelligence Unit to Kazadi, which has been seen by Reuters.

The Financial Action Task Force “will seek written confirmation from the DRC government of its high-level political commitment to fully address the identified strategic gaps by implementing said plan within the agreed time frame…from 2023 to 2025,” it said.

The Financial Action Task Force was established by the Group of Seven leading economies to protect the global financial system.

Reporting by Sonia Rolley; Writing by Edward McAllister; Editing by Mike Harrison

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