10th Compliance Conference in Turks and Caicos Islands

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Financial Intelligence Agency of the Turks and Caicos Islands will be hosting the Compliance Conference: ¨Keeping in step with regulatory requirements as the Standards evolve” from the 23rd - 24th March 2015 at the Regent Palms Resort in Providenciales Turks and Caicos Islands.  Day 1 8:00am-4:30pm, Day 2 8:00am -5:00pm.

International and local experts in the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism field will present the new Financial Action Task Force Standards, for the public and private sectors; discuss Risk Assessments, Customer Due Diligence, Supervision, Challenges for the country and the most relevant trends and topics that all stakeholders in the AML/CFT industry need to be aware of.

The Compliance Conference aims to provide participants with an in-depth and practical learning experience while encouraging participation in honest dialogue with key parties from different segments of the complex world of anti-money laundering risk management.

Join professionals from various countries in Providenciales, at the Regents Palms Resort, for a world class meeting of innovation and learning.

• Share ideas with industry leaders from both private and public sectors;
• Obtain knowledge and relevant information needed to establish and strengthen your AML/CFT regime;
• Additionally, CFATF conference certification can be used as credit towards your continuous professional development or re-certification in some programs

Whether you represent a large financial institution, a small legal or accounting firm, or other entities in the financial sector, we invite you to invest this time in the business of creating a stronger future for you and your organization. Price for the two day workshop is $600.00. This includes daily lunch and refreshments. Group rates available. For registration and further details go to http://www.cfatf-knowledgeplatform.com  or https://www.cfatf-gafic.org. For queries call 868-623-9667 or 649-941-7691.

CFATF continues with preparations for the Fourth Round of AML/CFT Assessments

One important aspect of the Mutual Evaluation Programme is the need to have qualified and experienced assessors and in that sense, the CFATF trained its third generation of Assessors in Antigua and Barbuda, during the week of the September 15‐19th 2014. (Training sessions were previously held in Jamaica and El Salvador).

Also, as its first Mutual Evaluation during the Fourth Round approaches (Trinidad and Tobago On‐Site Examination to take place January, 2015), the CFATF delivered Pre‐Assessment Training in Jamaica during September 25th and 26th 2014.,The training workshop comprised a variety of modules which explained the Mutual Evaluation Process, expectations with regard to participants, meetings, documents, among other things, and was attended by a wide cross section of the Jamaican Public and Private Sectors. Our thanks to the Central Bank of Jamaica for their help and hospitality with organizing and hosting the training.

During October 8th‐10th 2014, the CFATF also delivered Standards Training highlighting key changes in FATF revised 2012 Recommendations in the Cayman Islands. The CFATF would also like to thank the Attorney General’s Office for their generosity and hospitality in hosting the training. Among participating authorities and private sector representatives were the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), law enforcement authorities, the Financial Reporting Authority (CAYFIN), (Cayman Islands’ Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and an assortment of Financial Institutions (FIs) and designated Non‐Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs).

El Salvador complies with the AML standards

Maynard gives her speech at the opening of the meeting in the country. Foto EDH / Ericka Chávez

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) supported the country in a meeting being held here.

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) agreed yesterday during the 40th Plenary Meeting of this organization which is being held in this country, that El Salvador has complied with the majority of the recommendations to combat money laundering, according to the Attorney General's Office.

"El Salvador as such has been advancing on these issues, we have the reforms approved by the Legislature, now the only thing left for us to do is to put into practice the implementation of all this updated legislation in accordance with international standards", said Attorney General Luis Martínez.

He explained that "with the qualification that we intend to get at this Plenary, El Salvador will be evaluated every two years and in that time we are going to have to demonstrate the ability and experience to be able to combat this type of crime (money laundering), that which we are already doing"

In that sense, "I commend this effort from all in our country, by enacting laws and reforms for the good of the nation, and against money laundering and the financing of terrorism," said Martinez. He added that "El Salvador should be proud of this great achievement".

The country has complied with the 15 Core Recommendations which the referenced international organization had identified to "shield" the country from the possibility of being used for money laundering.

"Very clearly I understand that our country must continue with efforts to improve our conditions in the fight against this crime. I am committed to redesigning and strengthening this enormous task," said Attorney General Martínez.

Among the measures which El Salvador has complied with, stands out the incorporation of Politically Exposed Persons such as the President and Vice-President of the Republic and the ex-Presidents in the Money Laundering Act.

"El Salvador addressed the recommendations with sufficiency and overcame the deficiencies that had been identified in the mutual evaluation report, reaching the level of compliance," says a press report from the Attorney General.

The outgoing CFATF President Allyson Maynard highlighted the efforts made by Attorney General  Martínez, so that the country could have the necessary legislation to combat money laundering "which will result in El Salvador being highly respected in terms of anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering fight.”

She added that "our goal for the CFATF Member States is to obtain 75 per cent compliance at the end of the evaluation of the follow-up process”.
Include the financing of terrorism into the Law.

The CFATF’s eighth follow-up report from last May, questioned that the Anti-Money Laundering Act does not provide "issues related to terrorism and terrorist acts, terrorist groups, and terrorist financing, so that the application of the obligation to report suspicious transactions arising from the financing of terrorism may be difficult”.

Additionally, it is recommended that the Salvadoran authorities make the necessary reforms to the Special Law against Acts of Terrorism in which can be incorporated the obligation for financial institutions to report suspicious financial transactions where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the money or assets are related or could be used for acts of terrorism, or by terrorist organizations, organized crime, drug trafficking, and any of its variants.

In addition that they can inform the authorities of suspicious transactions that might be linked to the financing of terrorism.

En el referido informe se detalla de que El Salvador presentó 19 casos de investigación de lavado de dinero, de los cuales seis se judicializaron y se obtuvo una condena por el valor de 180,860 dólares entre el último trimestre de 2013 y en el primero de 2014. Además se detalla que hubo decomisos de dinero en efectivo que alcanzó un monto de 148,900 dólares provenientes de actividades sospechosas. The cited report details that El Salvador filed 19 cases of investigation of money laundering, of which six were tried and obtained a sentence to the value of $180,860 between the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter  of 2014. It also outlined that there were seizures of cash from suspicious activities which amounted to $148,900 dollars.

Wednesday, 26th November,  2014
Source: DAVID MARROQUÍN This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CFATF cements ties with The European Union

The Honourable Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, The Bahamas and Chair of the CFATF and Ms. Daniela Tramacere, Charge d' Affiares, Delegation of the European UnionSenator The Honourable Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, The Bahamas and Chair of the CFATF warmly welcomed Ms. Daniela Tramacere, Chargé d`Affaires, and Ms. Monica Paul-McLean, Programme Officer, Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago, at the CFATF Secretariat.  The meeting  further cemented the strong bonds of friendship and support between two long standing partners in the fight against trans-national organised crime and the financing of terrorism.

The European Union has always been very supportive of efforts to build regional capacity in various areas and the discussions recalled the investment from the European Commission, United Kingdom and the United States during 2000-2006 when significant funds were provided for the important work of the Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Programme (CALP) with regard to establishing the legislative and institutional framework to combat money laundering in several Caribbean jurisdictions.

Given the CFATF’s desire to be in step with the global drive to take the profit out of crime, Madam Chair Maynard Gibson and Chargé d`Affaires Tramacere explored the progress of the current European Union/CFATF three year Euros 1.2Million project to strengthen regional capacity, through the Accreditation and Training Programme for Financial Investigators, Analysts and Supervisors.

This new initiative is a natural corollary to the CALP as Financial Investigators and Analysts trained by the CALP are now employed as Heads and senior staff of some regional Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) and at other establishments around the Region including the CFATF Secretariat, where the current Law Enforcement Advisor is overseeing the operations of the Heads of FIUs Forum.

Financial investigation and analysis are important law enforcement techniques which can generate intelligence about the activities and patterns of criminal groups and provide added value to criminal investigations.

The CFATF Training and Accreditation Programme will entail the delivery of five (5) training modules for the benefit of 207 Financial Investigators, Financial Analysts and Supervisors at regional FIUs.

The aim of the project which is funded by the European Union, is to improve the quality of financial intelligence and information through effective analysis and data matching, improve the quality in the filing of suspicious transaction reports, encourage the use of financial investigative tools, and enhance the exchange of financial information and intelligence and cooperation, as standard activities in the investigation of serious crimes.

Madam Chair Maynard Gibson noted that the Accreditation and Training Programme is testimony to the political commitment at the highest levels across the Caribbean Basin Region, to take the profit out of crime, by enhancing and strengthening the human and operational capacity of FIUs, which are at the heart of the national Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) architecture in CFATF member jurisdictions.

FATF and CFATF Cooperation, a unique example to the world

It was an absolute joy to watch. Mr. Vladimir Nechaev, President of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Mr. Richard Berkhout, Policy Advisor, FATF Secretariat, at home, in beautiful Nassau, The Bahamas, and with particular and enjoyable ease, responding to the hard and persistent questions from Ministers, Attorneys General, senior technical officials and private sector representatives involved in the International Financial Services sector from CFATF Member countries.

All of this under the watchful eye of the Honourable Allyson Maynard Gibson, Attorney General and Chair of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), host of the First CFATF Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Conference which was held in Nassau, The Bahamas during April 2-3 2014.

President Nechaev enjoyed the interaction with the delegates and readily answered the lively questions from delegates. It was clear that this was a man who understood the minutiae of the FATF Recommendations and was willing to share his knowledge and experiences with the region.

The CFATF, just like the FATF and the other FATF Style Regional Bodies, is fully engaged in preparing its Members and the Mutual Evaluation Team at the Secretariat for the onset of the Fourth Round of Assessments which commences in January 2015.

The FATF 2012 Recommendations and the updated assessment Methodology bring with them a much more onerous and resource intensive assessment process in both human and financial terms when compared with the Third Round of Mutual Evaluations.

In light of this and cognizant of the ongoing financial challenges being experienced by the small and developing economies in the region, Madam Chair Maynard Gibson, on assuming leadership of the CFATF, became convinced that a regional conversation on the adoption of a serious approach to, the provision of adequate resources for and buy in at the highest political levels were critical ingredients for success in pursuit of higher levels of compliance with the FATF Recommendations.

For this goal President Nechaev was a worthy and willing ally and so after discussions in late November 2013 on the margins of the CFATF Plenary Meeting, the idea of the First CFATF Regional AML/CFT Conference was conceived, and became a reality with the urgency it deserved, four months thereafter.

For Madam Chair Maynard Gibson this was a very rewarding exercise which continued the tone of her bold and innovative leadership of the CFATF. New initiatives were announced. The Right Honourable Perry Christie, Prime Minister, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas offered to champion the work and achievements of the CFATF with CARICOM Heads of Governments and Regional Institutions as well as on the international stage as its Patron.

The Right Honourable Prime Minister supported her call for at least seventy five (75) percent % compliance at the end of the Fourth Round by all CFATF Members and called for the establishment of the CFATF Council of Elders, “a forum where current and former CFATF Chairmen could meet as circumstances dictate, to review issues facing the organization and its membership, to provide guidance and to undertake strategic intervention to assist in accomplishing CFATF objectives”.

This initiative has reinforced the confidence of FATF President Nechaev in the ability of the CFATF to successfully manage the challenges that lie ahead for its members in addressing the stronger and more demanding assessment structures that are part and parcel of the Fourth Round of Assessments.

The First CFATF Regional AML/CFT Conference led to the issuing of the Nassau Re-Affirmation which recommitted the CFATF to the effective partnership with the international community in the fight against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and proliferation financing.

And in more good news, the First CFATF Regional AML/CFT Conference solidified the close working relationship between the FATF, the standard setter and the CFATF, the first FATF Style Regional Body.

Indeed FATF President Vladimir Nechaev has extended an open invitation to the CFATF to share its experiences in exploiting regional structures to advance its work and any concrete steps that the CFATF could take to finance the Fourth Round of Assessments with Members of the FATF Global Network Coordination Group