Gibraltar’s chief commissioner for gambling Andrew Lyman issued a rallying cry for all involved to help the country replicate what Iceland and Malta achieved after the two managed to leave the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray list within 12 months of addition.
“No fundamental, systematic weaknesses, PPL / TF”
British overseas territory surprisingly ended up on the gray list on June 17 after the plenary session of the task force, where Malta was also removed from the list and Pakistan remains in the group of countries that need to improve their anti-money laundering practices.
Speaking at the KPMG Gibraltar Summit on e-Gambling this morning, Lyman stated that the Gibraltar government should get all the support it needs to remove the country from the gray list “as soon as possible”.
Not hiding his surprise, Lyman also questioned the reasons behind the decision stating that “there are no fundamental, systematic weaknesses, AML / TF in this jurisdiction and Gibraltar now has a strong AML and TF system that makes the listing decision gray harder to bear. ”
According to Lyman, a timeline mismatch could have played a significant role on Gibraltar’s list in relation to the FATF’s claim that the country did not sanction “fines or proportionate fines for breaches of terrorism laundering or financing”.
“If the FATF had accepted that the scope of sanctions imposed by the Gambling Division in the post-observation period was effective, proportionate and persuasive then all other issues would have been considered and applying the principle of proportionality could “It should have happened that Gibraltar was not on the gray list at all.”
Andrew Lyman, Chief Gambling Commissioner
On-site controls for operators
Accepting the decision, Lyman reiterated the commitment of the Gambling Commission and the Gibraltar authorities to adhere to the ongoing processes affirmed by the Council of Europe monitoring body, Moneyval and the FATF.
“This is the shortest action plan for any gray list jurisdiction and another result could have been Gibraltar’s return to Moneyval extended monitoring; as happened with the Isle of Man. “Unfortunately, this alternative was not approved,” Lyman said.
Considering what needs to be improved in the coming months to help the government remove the country from the gray list, Lyman noted that the Gambling Commission would do its part by conducting on-the-spot checks on operators, convinced that Gibraltar has a strong regime and must prove it, something the country failed to do in the current round.
He was also adamant in his position that the Gambling Commission would not “artificially adapt … to accommodate enforcement cases”, arguing that the FATF should not and could not seek more sanctions per se, but rather ask the country to prove that its regime can be effective. using sanctions where necessary and to the extent necessary.