29 Jun, 2023 @ 09:37
1 min read

Gibraltar works to fight financial crime link with tax fraud after failing to overturn FATF greylisting

Tax Fraud Gib

GIBRALTAR is continuing its work to fight financial crime through its Quad Island Forum after it failed to convince the FATF to remove it from its greylist.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary on June 21-23 noted the ‘progress’ Gibraltar has made in ‘taking more enforcement actions, imposing financial penalties, and publishing the results of cases’.

But it said the Rock needs to ‘address its strategic deficiencies by showing it is able to pursue more final confiscation judgments commensurate with the risk and context of Gibraltar’.

The FATF report said that as ‘all deadlines have now expired’ and it ‘encourages Gibraltar to continue to implement its action plan’.

But the British territory’s government said there is ‘nothing more’ it can do to raise the importance of the issue on its own initiative.

It said in a statement that the delisting process is now outside its remit and it would have to let the regulators and enforcement agencies take their own path to fighting financial crime.

Only last week, Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) from Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey met in London to discuss how they could continue to step up their game.

Over three days, Gibraltar’s FIU experts learnt how Jersey and Isle of Man had raised the bar before Moneyval assessments.

The four authorities are now exploring links between tax offices and the FIUs to catch entangled tax fraudsters who use the system to their advantage.

The Gibraltar Government said that creating this sub-group is ‘very encouraging’ and could help find more financial criminals.

Director of the GFIU Edgar Lopez said the Quad Island Forum ‘links up technical experts in specialised fields to learn from each other’ and improves ‘existing measures’.

Income Tax Commissioner John Lester added: “Given that money laundering and tax evasion are typically interconnected activities, this collaborative approach is of vital importance in making it harder to benefit from the exploitation of a lack of cooperation,”

“We therefore look forward to developing and building solid relationships within this forum.”

Regulators and law enforcement agencies on the Rock have been taking part in training workshops to update their protocols to spot any suspicious transactions.


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