The European Commission has reportedly added Saudi Arabia and other jurisdictions including Afghanistan to a blacklist of nations that pose a threat to the block because of lax controls against terrorism financing and money laundering.
Inclusion in the blacklist of ‘dirty-money’ not only results to reputational damage but would also complicate financial relations with the European Union.
The move oblige European banks to apply tighter controls on transactions with customers and institutions which have been included in the list.
Khalil Seddiq, the governor of the Central Bank of Afghanistan called the inclusion of Afghanistan in the list a hasty move by the European Union.
Mr. Seddiq told Khaama Press that the banking system of Afghanistan is organized in line with the standard international banking systems which has operations perfectly and in coordination with the law preventing money laundering and terrorism financing.
The previous list included 16 jurisdictions but the latest additions have increased the number to 23 with Libya, Botswana, Ghana, Samoa, the Bahamas and the four United States territories of American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam being the newcomers to the list.
Afghanistan, North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen are among the other jurisdictions which have also been included in the list.
The list will be forwarded to 28 EU members for endorsement to be endorse in a month with the deadline for the endorsement likely to be extended to two months.
According to reports, the Afghanistan Central Bank was notified regarding the inclusion of the jurisdiction of Afghanistan in the list.