Cambodia has been removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s ‘grey list’, after seeing ‘significant progress in improving its AML/CFT (anti-money laundering/ counter-financing of terrorism) regime’.

The international financial watchdog noted that Cambodia had ‘strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime to meet the commitments in its action plan’ and that it is ‘no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process’.

In November of last year, Cambodia’s Minister of Interior had expressed hopes that the nation could be removed from the grey list, following the FATF’s evaluation in January of this year, noting that the visit from the watchdog would be a “golden opportunity”.

Cambodia had abided by all of its suggested remediation plans, only being required to fulfil one last issue ‘demonstrating an increase in the freezing and confiscation of criminal proceeds, instrumentalities, and property of equivalent value’, according to the FATF.

Cambodia was placed on the grey list in 2019, but the nation later implemented new laws on AML/CFT in June of the same year. However, the nation was also listed by the EU as a financial-risk state in May of 2020, in part due to the rapid transformation of Sihanoukville.

Philippines still on grey list

While Cambodia has been removed from the watch list, the Philippines is still under strict observation by the FATF, which notes it still needs to ‘strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime’.

The FATF notes that the nation still needs to demonstrate that ‘supervisors are using AML/CFT controls to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets’, as well as adequate supervision of non-financial businesses and professions, among other issues.

The FATF says that the nation ‘continued progress across its action plan, however all deadlines have now expired and work remains’.

It urges the Philippines to address its ‘strategic deficiencies as soon as possible’.