10 Jan 2003

Cook islands confident of meeting FATF money laundering regulations this year

11:53 am on 10 January 2003

The Cook Islands Money Laundering Authority is confident that by mid year it will be able to satisfy the Financial Action Task Force's demands for greater transparency.

It is one of two Pacific nations, along with Nauru, still on a FATF black list, with the international watchdog waiting to see that they comply with its recommendations geared to end money laundering.

The Authority's Chairman Kevin Carr says he expects the Cooks will next be assessed by the FATF in the middle of this year, and believes they will be ready.

But he says the main sticking point is in writing the legislation.

Mr Carr says this is a resources issue, and they had been expecting help in November from an IMF team, which eventually arrived a month late.

He says they still need more help and some of this is coming from New Zealand.

"W e have a drafter coming up next week who will be helping us to do some drafting. At the end of January we've got three people going to a conference in Fiji which is aimed at assisting those people who are drafting legislation. And we are looking for some further assistance after that to draft the balance of the legislation."