Global Policy Forum

G7 Agency Lists Hot Money Havens

June 22, 2000

PARIS -- The body leading an international campaign against money laundering has put Liechtenstein, Russia, Israel, Lebanon and a string of Pacific islands on a blacklist of "uncooperative" banking centers, a French newspaper said on Thursday. The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), created in 1989 by the Group of Seven main economic powers, put 15 names on its list.

But it ultimately dropped an equal number from its initial list, including Jersey and Guernsey under pressure from countries such as Britain, the daily Le Monde said. The principality of Monaco, which a French parliamentary report has slammed as a haven for potential money laundering, was also let off the hook by the FATF, it said.

FATF was due to publish the full list at 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) after three days of last-chance negotiations with capitals around the world and financial centers considered not to be doing enough to make sure their banks do not recycle hot money from criminal sources.

Around $600 billion from drug cartels, mafia barons or other criminal or shady outfits is believed to be recycled through banks and other investment institutions each year, roughly as much as the output of the entire Canadian economy. FATF was not immediately available for comment on the newspaper report and has insisted that the ultra-sensitive list will not be officially published until the scheduled time.

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