In the latest Basel Index report, Morocco was ranked 103rd out of 147 countries for money laundering and terrorism financing risks, 39 spots further from the previous year’s ranking.
The Basel Index highlights countries most vulnerable to money laundering, with the top spots occupied by countries susceptible to financial crimes.
Within the Middle East and North Africa region, Morocco, scoring 4.69 out of 10 points, was positioned in the fourth position, trailing behind Israel, Tunisia, and Malta.
Bahrain follows closely in the fifth position, while Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Algeria round out the list.
The MENA region experienced an increase in risk scores this year, as indicated by the report. Although there was a slight enhancement in the area of AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and CFT (Counter Financing of Terrorism) frameworks, which was the region’s weakest aspect last year, other key indicators demonstrated a decline.
Environmental crime risks within this domain remain at low or medium levels. However, factors such as corruption and bribery, public and financial transparency, as well as political and legal risks, all exhibited deterioration.
In the MENA region, the risk classification reveals a spectrum from high to low risk, with Algeria topping the list at 7.22, followed by the United Arab Emirates at 5.74 and Saudi Arabia at 5.38. Qatar holds the fourth position with a score of 5.19, followed by Egypt at 5.06, Jordan at 4.90, and Bahrain at 4.82.
Morocco falls into the eighth position with a risk score of 4.69, while Tunisia follows closely at 4.59. Israel concludes the list with the lowest risk score of 3.6, indicating a comparatively lower susceptibility to money laundering and terrorist financing risks within the region.
The report identified bribery and corruption as the weakest spot in the MENA region. Sixty percent of countries in the region are exposed to high risks concerning political and civic freedoms.
Additionally, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, transparency in beneficial ownership, and the investigation of money laundering and terrorist financing offenses are persistently identified as weak spots in terms of effectiveness.
The Basel Index designates Haiti as the riskiest country globally for money laundering, followed by Chad, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mozambique.
In contrast, Iceland secures the last spot (152) as the least risky country, followed by Finland, Estonia, and Andorra.
The Basel Index relies on reports from the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the International Settlements Bank, incorporating global central banks and the Financial Action Task Force.
The purpose is to compile lists of countries accused of involvement in money laundering and financing terrorism or those lacking sufficient laws to combat financial crimes.