Regional conference on Beneficial Ownership gathers 18 Latin American countries
Vice-minister of Finance in Charge of Panama, Manuel Sánchez O., on Monday inaugurated a regional conference on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) titled “Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Frameworks and risk-assessment of corporate vehicles in the GAFILAT Region”.
The event is witnessing the participation of 60 high-level experts from 18 Latin American countries.
Co-organised by the EU Global Facility, the GAFILAT Secretariat and the National Commission against Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction of Panama (CNBC) of the Ministry of Economy and Finances of Panama (MEF).
“Panama has continued to strengthen its prevention system and technical capacities; therefore, we are aware that the fight against money laundering is a joint effort,” said vice-minister of Finance in Charge Sánchez.
Izabela Matusz, EU Ambassador to Panama, noted: “every country needs a transparent, reliable and sustainable financial system. In this way, it will defend itself against the influence of organised crime on its institutions and can protect the interests of the state and the nation.”
The regional event aims to allow participants to exchange and further their expertise on FATF standards on availability and accessibility of beneficial ownership information, the assessment of money laundering and terrorism financing risks associated with the misuse of legal persons and arrangements in the GAFILAT region, the design and implementation of mitigation measures as well as emerging trends and specific topics related to the ever increasing importance of beneficial ownership transparency throughout jurisdictions across the world.
In his welcoming remarks, EU GF Team Leader David Hotte, thanked the GAFILAT and Panamanian authorities for their support, noting: “we are particularly happy to see such a high level of attendance in this first regional conference the EU Global Facility is organising in Latin America. Panama has been a trusted partner country of the project, where we have delivered 10 activities since our first mission back in October 2021.”
“Support to partner countries’ Beneficial Ownership frameworks is a key pillar of the EU GF’s work around the globe. So far, we have assisted more than 11 jurisdictions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe on BO at a bilateral level while reaching almost 70 countries through regional conferences.”
For his part, Executive Director of GAFILAT, Esteban Fullin, stated: “making Beneficial Ownership information available is key to having a successful AML/CFT system, GAFILAT is committed to mitigate any possible misuse of corporate vehicles to allow money launderers and criminal organisations to profit their illicit gains. Having the chance to share experiences and discuss good practices on how to tackle this issue is key to implement an effective system.”