Hon. Garvin Nicholas, Attorney General Trinidad and Tobago and CFATF Deputy Chair, Mr. Roger Wilkins AO, FATF President and Hon. Luis Martínez, Attorney General El Salvador and CFATF ChairAntigua and Barbuda and Belize exited the follow-up process. Belize and Grenada exited ICRG monitoring demonstrating their commitment in the fight against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.

On May 27th and 28th, 2015, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) held its XLI Plenary Meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad, which is the permanent seat of the Organization.

Delegates attending the Plenary Meeting discussed topics such as the challenges of the fourth round, financial inclusion, third party reliance among others. Technical assistance opportunities for our Members were also discussed through the Donors Forum.

The CFATF also adopted its International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) Procedures based on previous ICRG and Plenary decisions, for ease of reference and greater transparency, and updated its Mutual Evaluation Procedures to reflect changes in timelines and the possibility of joint assessments with Members which are both a Member of the CFATF and a different Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Style Regional Body.

Of note, is that two (2) more jurisdictions exited the follow-up process: Antigua and Barbuda and Belize. Belize and Grenada also exited enhanced monitoring by the CFATF ICRG. This attending to their progress in compliance with FATF standards.

Regional cooperation against money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing, received another fillip when the directors of financial intelligence units from eight (8) Member countries of the CFATF signed MOUs which will foster bilateral cooperation towards the sharing of information. This augers well for the region because it not only adds to the potential sources of information available to the FIUs to properly undertake their analytical functions, but it also ensures that any regional investigative and intelligence gathering blind spots, which may have been available to criminals who are seeking to either hide their criminal proceeds or facilitate terrorist activities, have been significantly reduced.

The MOUs were signed following the 22nd meeting of the CFATF Heads of FIUs which was held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on May 26, 2015. 

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.

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).

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 SUCESOS@ELDIARIODEHOY.COM