Those that remain on the blacklist face the possibility of economic sanctions, while there is also the likelihood that more names will be added to the current fifteen.
The list is made up of the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands, Dominica, the Marshall Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines as well as Israel, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Nauru, Niue, Panama, the Philippines and Russia.
A spokesperson for the FATF told AccountancyAge.com no decision had yet been taken on any particular tax centre, but would be thrashed out during the meeting of the FATF secretariat which runs from Wednesday to Friday at the OECD headquarters in Paris this week.
‘A news conference to announce the decision on blacklisted countries will be held following the meeting on Friday afternoon,’ she said.
She also denied any connection between the FATF’s blacklist at the OECD’s own blacklist of uncooperative tax havens to be published at the end of July.
‘There is absolutely no connection between the OECD’s plans to apply sanctions to 35 blacklisted tax havens on the 31 July and the FATF’s own blacklist,’ she said.
‘They are completely separate and independent. The only connection is that some of the tax centres appear on both blacklists and that the FATF operates from the OECD’s offices.’
Furthermore, the FATF claims to have the might of the US backing its threats of economic sanctions, while recent media reports suggested the Bush administration has withdrawn its support for the OECD’s plan to blacklist uncooperative tax centres.
Reports in today’s FT suggest a number of tax havens, including some of the Caribbean islands, Russia and Liechtenstein had tightened their anti-money laundering regulations and reformed their legislation to avoid facing economic sanctions.
A telephone line has been set for the news conference, scheduled for 1pm, London time. It can be heard in English by phoning + 33 5 678 9057.
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