Nepal asked to enact anti-money laundering laws to avoid blacklisting

Nepal has been asked to enact necessary laws against money laundering within June to avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force

Nepal received such a warning at the regional review group meeting of the FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) held in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Nepal has not been able to endorse three crucial bills on anti-money laundering-Bill on Controlling Organised Crime, Bill on Extradition and Bill on Mutual Legal Assistance-due to strong objection from lawmakers of the ruling Maoist party.

The FATF’s preliminary meeting is scheduled to be held in Italy in the second week of June, and Nepal has to bring these laws before the meeting to avert blacklisting.

If blacklisted, Nepal’s financial system will lose its credibility as the FATF has warned its member countries to take stringent measures against countries failing to address their anti-money laundering deficiencies. Among some consequences include non-acceptance of the letters of credit by foreign banks. Officials say even if foreign banks hold transactions with Nepali banks, the business will be costly and Nepal will have to struggle to get foreign aid and investment.