UAE Removed from FATF ‘Grey List’ as Kenya and Namibia Face Increased Monitoring

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international crime watchdog, announced the removal of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from its ‘grey list.’ Simultaneously, Kenya and Namibia have been added to the list, subjecting them to heightened scrutiny due to concerns over inadequate measures against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The decision came during the FATF Plenary, where the organization stated, “At this Plenary, the FATF added Kenya and Namibia to the list of jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring.”

Kenya’s Treasury had already disclosed the news earlier in the day, emphasizing its full commitment to implementing the FATF’s action plan. The Treasury also sought to downplay potential impacts, assuring that the move would have only “minimal effects” on Kenya’s financial stability.

A FATF report from the previous year highlighted that Kenya faced significant risks associated with money flows linked to terrorism financing, both domestically and internationally. Cryptocurrencies were also identified as an additional risk factor. The region surrounding Kenya is known for the presence of various militant groups, including the al Shabaab group in neighboring Somalia, affiliated with al Qaeda, which has historically launched multiple attacks within Kenya.

On the other hand, Namibia, upon learning about its placement on the ‘grey list,’ expressed concerns over potential negative impacts on the country’s foreign direct investment. The Namibian Financial Intelligence Centre, in a statement earlier on Friday, acknowledged the potential consequences of increased monitoring and highlighted the importance of addressing the identified issues promptly.

The FATF’s ‘grey list’ includes countries that are deemed to require increased monitoring due to deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures. The removal of the UAE from this list signifies the country’s successful efforts to address and rectify the identified shortcomings.

As the UAE celebrates its removal from the ‘grey list,’ both Kenya and Namibia face the challenge of navigating increased scrutiny and implementing measures to enhance their financial systems’ integrity.

In other noteworthy updates, the FATF also announced the removal of Barbados, Gibraltar, and Uganda from its watchlist, reflecting positive progress in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing frameworks.

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