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EU states reject blacklisting Saudi, others over dirty money

EU states reject blacklisting Saudi, others over dirty money

Officials said the proposed list “was not established in a transparent and resilient process”

The 28 member states of the European Union all backed a decision on Thursday to reject a proposal from the EU executive to add Saudi Arabia to a blacklist of countries suspected of being lax on terrorist financing and money-laundering.

The Council of the EU said in a statement that the unanimous decision was taken because the European Commission’s proposed list, which also included four U.S. territories, “was not established in a transparent and resilient process that actively incentivises affected countries to take decisive action while also respecting their right to be heard”.

The US Treasury Department had also spoken out against the proposal, saying the listing process was “flawed” and rejecting the inclusion of US territories American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman recently sent letters to all EU leaders urging them to reconsider the inclusion of Riyadh on the list

Read After Saudi king’s letter, EU states move to block dirty-money list

Countries are blacklisted by the EU if they “have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regimes that pose significant threats to the financial system of the Union”.

They can also be blacklisted if they do not provide sufficient information on company ownership or if their rules on reporting suspicious transactions or monitoring financial customers are considered too lax.

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