Despite its efforts, Morocco pinned by the FATF

After a few days of its exit from the gray list of the European Union on tax havens, Morocco has again been pinned on questions of the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The blame this time came from the “Financial Action Task Force” (FATF), an intergovernmental financial action organization, which placed Morocco in its list of countries with strategic deficiencies in this area.

The Kingdom is thus considered to be a country subject to increased surveillance. Although the Task Force recognizes Morocco’s commitment to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. This new classification of the Kingdom means that it is urged to provide more efforts, in collaboration with the FATF, in order to strengthen its legislative mechanisms to fight against these two scourges, often inseparable. The objective is to comply with international standards, in particular those of United Nations conventions. In this regard, a bill is being discussed at the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legislation, and is struggling to be voted on because of the obvious differences between the deputies as to the interpretation of the text proposed by the Ministry of Justice. . Discussions were repeatedly postponed. The delay in exiting this law is interpreted by several observers as behind this unfavorable classification of Morocco, which will have to apply 40 recommendations addressed by the FATF.

Recall that the bill in question aims to strengthen the powers of prosecutors and investigating judges in the investigation, control and prosecution of persons suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing, with new sanctions. . The FATF decision, like the European Union gray list on tax havens, raises several questions as long as its criticisms remain focused on developing countries, without attacking the real money laundering circuits. money through financial centers such as Luxembourg, Panama, London and Switzerland. Although lagging behind in legislative matters, Morocco has a sufficiently controlled and regulated banking system so that it is overwhelmed by the flow of illicit money, intended for the financing of terrorist projects. Several observers have seen the FATF’s decision as criticisms of variable geometry, with an excessive tendency to give lessons to countries like Morocco. A feeling that is being felt more and more, knowing that the Minister of Foreign Affairs himself called on the European Union to get out of the logic of the teacher and the pupil in its relations with its southern neighborhood.

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