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NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas has been delisted from the European Union’s AML Blacklist of countries, Attorney General Ryan Pinder noted yesterday, with the EU Commission having concluded that  this nation has addressed the strategic deficiencies in its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) regime.

The European Commission adopted a new regulation to update the EU AML Blacklist, including delisting The Bahamas last Friday, January 7.

Pinder noted that the European Union had advised several countries of possible blacklisting in May 2020, including The Bahamas.

“The Bahamas engaged in diplomatic and technical meetings and consultations on an ongoing basis to address the blacklisting by the EU,” he said. 

“During the period August 2020 to October 2021, there were two draft assessments submitted for The Bahamas’ review with requests for supplemental information, and the last submission was made to the DG FISMA on October 1st 2021.”

“The Office of the Attorney General followed up with the DG FISMA on October 11, 2021 and  December 15 2021.  On Friday January 7 2022, the European Commission adopted a new regulation to update the EU AML Blacklist, including delisting The Bahamas.”

Pinder said: “It has now been shared with the European Parliament and Council for formal consultation. After such consultation, the regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and entering into force 20 days after its publication. The Bahamas has been delisted from the EU AML Blacklist of countries.” 

Pinder also noted this nation can now can boast of having “Largely Compliant and Compliant” ratings in 38 of the 40 Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF)recommendations, one of the highest compliance levels in the region.

The Attorney General also noted that the Davis administration pledges its full support for the full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

“In 2021, the Freedom of Information Office was established pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. On May 3, 2021, Retired Justice Keith Thompson was appointed the nation’s first Information Commissioner and on May 6, 2021 former Assistant Director of Legal Affairs, Mr. Shane Miller was appointed the Deputy Information Commissioner,” he continued. 

“We are in the process of relocating the Freedom of Information Unit to a more suitable location where we can expand the members to implement fully the obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.  A consultant has been engaged to prepare a strategic plan for implementation.

“This week Mrs Sally-Ann Pratt transferred from the Registrar General Department to take up the position of Assistant Information Commissioner and will assume the day-to-day responsibility of the roll out of the Freedom of Information obligations throughout the pilot Government agencies,” Pinder said.