Bosnia and Herzegovina has been included on the Council of Europe's grey list for its ineffectiveness in the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing, the country's Security Minister Dragan Mektic said in Sarajevo on Thursday, warning that this was yet another proof that Bosnia and Herzegovina was slow in honouring its international commitments.
The grey list of the Council of Europe's Committee on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) includes countries, such as Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, Vanuatu, Guyana and Laos, which are considered not to have effective mechanisms for controlling money flows and cannot guarantee that terrorism is not financed through their banks.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has been included on the list because of its complicated administrative structure where it is not clear which level of government does what and where there is no necessary coordination between security and intelligence services.
Mektic said that Bosnia and Herzegovina had adopted an action plan in 2009 undertaking to meet all the requirements and standards necessary for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing and to adjust its legal and institutional framework accordingly.
"All this time Bosnia and Herzegovina has behaved irresponsibly by not honouring its commitments," Mektic said, recalling that criminal legislation had not been amended in time to make it clear who was responsible for the prevention of money laundering and dodgy financial transactions. The problem was that the Bosnian Serb authorities insisted that this should fall within the authority of the country's entities rather than the central government.
By the time Bosnia and Herzegovina met the necessary criteria, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) had issued new instructions that needed to be followed, which the country did but again with delay. That prompted the FATF to recommend keeping Bosnia and Herzegovina on the grey list until the end of 2016 to ensure its full compliance with the standards, Mektic said.