Wellington, Oct 22: The New Zealand government Tuesday welcomed its removal from the watch list of an international body that monitors financial crime as a “stamp of approval” for new laws to fight money laundering and terrorist funding.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body that sets policies and standards on anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing (AML/CFT), removed New Zealand from its follow-up assessment list Monday, Xinhua reported.
“I’m pleased our framework for dealing with such crimes has received a stamp of approval from international experts and FATF members,” Justice Minister Judith Collins said in a statement.
“Being in step with the rest of the world is crucial to New Zealand as a trading nation, as more authorities around the world are requiring compliance with AML/CFT standards.”
The FATF last assessed New Zealand in 2009 and found New Zealand’s AML/CFT regime to be non-compliant or only partially compliant in a range of issues.
The government had since put the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act in place, which largely addressed those issues, said Collins.
“Being internationally recognised for our progress is an important validation of New Zealand’s efforts. As a trading nation and good international citizen, we must keep in step with our major trading partners and do our part in tackling serious economic crimes,” Collins said.