On Monday January 23, 2017 the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism National Coordinating Committee (NCC) of Vanuatu had their first face-to-face meeting of 2017 with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
, the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the FATF and the Regional Review Group (RRG) to provide Vanuatu’s progress since December 2016.
The FATF, ICRG and RRG are the reviewers responsible for putting Vanuatu on the grey list.
Following the meeting, Vanuatu was reassured that with all the progress that Vanuatu has reported so far it is very satisfactory and this will not warrant a warning from the reviewer’s or place Vanuatu on the dark grey list.
The efforts of Vanuatu in submitting 31 bills at the due date of December 30th 2016 were applauded.
While a formal response has yet to be received, this is confirmation that Vanuatu will get a tick off on having met the requirement to provide legislative amendments within the required timeframe.
The delegation was led by the Director General of the Office of the Prime Minister as the Chair of the NCC including relevant government agencies and all members of the NCC.
Parliamentary Secretary, Johnny Koanapo who is one of the MPs appointed to be part of the NCC was also present demonstrating the political will and commitment of the Government, in Vanuatu’ s efforts to get off the grey list.
Vanuatu provided positive progress updates to the FATF/ICRG/RRG from seven of its agencies namely; State Law Office, Public Prosecutor’s Office, Financial Intelligence Unit, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Vanuatu Police Force, Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, Department of Customs and Inland Revenue including NCC, despite having much negative feedback in regards to Vanuatu being placed on the dark grey list or black list and being told the country’s plans were ambious and unachievable
The progress works that Vanuatu has accomplished thus far have enabled it to slowly progress forward to get off the grey list in which it had been placed in on February 2016. Although Vanuatu is still not out of the wood works but the positive progress thus far is a good indication of the path forward.
According to the statement released by the delegation, the reviewers were astounded and congratulated Vanuatu on the work done so far.