Panoramica Virgin IslandsOver 150 delegates from various jurisdictions in the Caribbean region will be in the BVI this week to attend the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) 36th Plenary from November 12 to 15.

The main meeting of the week will take place at the Multipurpose Complex in Tortola. The CFATF, for which the BVI serves as vice chair, is a regional organisation established to address issues pertaining to the detection and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. The organisation hosts plenary sessions at least twice a year, attended by its 29 member jurisdictions.

The Director of Policy, Research and Statistics of the BVI Financial Services Commission, Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC, currently occupies the vice chair post, on behalf of the BVI. Commenting on the significance of the BVI hosting the CFATF plenary meeting, Mr. Jallow said, “It is important, not only from the promotional angle, but in terms of making the public aware that we are all part and parcel of the process. We all play a key role in driving the process forward in taking our mandate seriously as a global partner in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing activities.”

Regarding the impact of the meeting on the BVI, Mr. Jallow said it is all about reputation, adding, “No jurisdiction wants to be viewed as having weak systems to effectively in combat money laundering and terrorist financing. When the systems are strong, particularly for a financial services jurisdiction like the BVI, it helps to enhance the reputation of the jurisdiction.”

Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC, Director, Policy, Research and Statistics, BVI Financial Services Commission (Photo Credit:BVI Financial Services Commission)Mr. Jallow added, “Public awareness is important. We can put in all the legislative measures and enforcement mechanisms – it’s not going to stop money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing...It’s the people who need to know what these things are about, so that they can detect the crime and assist law enforcement.”

Regarding the BVI’s own stance on compliance, Mr. Jallow related that the BVI has done its utmost to ensure it fully complies with the established international standards on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing; scoring 14 out of 16 when rated against the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Core and Key Recommendations, and thus placing second globally.

The BVI will assume chairmanship after the CFATF Plenary concludes this Thursday. As incoming Chair, the BVI is responsible, along with the assistance of the CFATF Secretariat, to prepare a work programme to guide the organisation during the BVI’s Chairmanship of the organisation. The CFATF is undergoing critical reforms in terms of its structure and governance and the BVI’s plans include strengthening those reforms to ensure continued excellence as a regional body.

In addition to that, the BVI hopes to engender greater participation amongst the membership to distribute the work more evenly in order to ensure a stronger and more cohesive organisation is developed.  One that builds on that reputation both regionally and internationally.

Representatives from the BVI FSC, Ministry of Finance, Her Majesty’s Customs, Attorney General’s Chambers, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and other key law enforcement agencies who all have key roles in assisting the CFATF mandate will be attending the event.

Various working groups and fora will take place on Monday and Tuesday, with the actual plenary meeting commencing on Wednesday. The plenary begins with an opening ceremony with remarks by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE along with other speakers.

Hosting the Caribbean Finance Action Task Force Plenary Meeting is in line with the Government of the Virgin Islands’ mission to enhance and solidify the Territory’s reputation as a pre-eminent jurisdiction for financial services. The sector is one of the Territory’s main economic pillars, which generates 60 cents of every dollar spent by Government.

Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 8:50am

At its June 2012 Plenary Meeting, the FATF considered the FATF’s four basic principles on Voluntary Tax Compliance (VTC) and determined that there were initial concerns about the potential impact of the VTC programme in Curaçao on the effective application of AML/CFT measures.

The government of Curaçao in its ongoing dialogue with the FATF committed to ensuring that its VTC programme was consistent with the four basic principles, and to providing the FATF with additional information and clarifications so that the matter could be further considered by the FATF in October 2012.

In keeping with these obligations Curaçao provided additional materials and clarifications on the characteristics of its VTC programme, in order to demonstrate that the programme does not undermine overall effective application of AML/CFT measures in the country.

The FATF considered the issue again and determined that Curaçao’s VTC programme did not have any negative impact on the implementation of AML/CFT measures in the jurisdiction.

Curaçao has undertaken to keep the FATF informed of any development or new elements added in the programme and the FATF will continue to monitor the situation and conduct further review of any additional information.

Paris, October 19th 2012

In his final month as Chairman of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, (CFATF) Manuel Gonzalez, Venezuela led a team of officials from The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela and the CFATF Secretariat and accomplished several successes for the organization during the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary Meeting which was held at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Paris, France, during October15-19 2012.   


Chairman Gonzalez applauded the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago and the Honourable Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the Honourable Austin Jack Warner Minister of National Security and Prime Contact to the CFATF on the removal from the FATF monitoring process of its International Co-operation Review Group initiative.

Against the backdrop of cold and rainy but pleasant autumn weather, Chairman Gonzalez noted the critical importance of the role of dedicated and hard working public servants in national efforts to effectively implement the international standards to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and extended warmest congratulations to Mrs. Sherene Murray-Bailey, Director, Compliance Unit, Ministry of National Security, and Ms. Susan Francois, Director, Financial Intelligence Unit, Trinidad and Tobago

Reflecting the sentiments of the FATF statement, Chairman Gonzalez counselled Trinidad and Tobago to guard against resting on its laurels but to redouble its efforts to implement the new legislative and regulatory regime and to urgently address the outstanding AML/CFT issues identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report and encouraged the country to vigorously resume its leadership role by sharing its experiences of the FATF process with members of the CFATF family.


In recognition of the ongoing steps taken by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela towards improving its AML/CFT regime, the FATF has decided to conduct an on-site visit to the jurisdiction as outlined in its Public Document- Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: On-Going Process dated October 19th 2012.

The dates for the visit, which will seek to confirm Venezuela’s ongoing programme towards implementing the required reforms to its AML/CFT architecture, based upon the deficiencies previously identified by the FATF, will be decided shortly in conjunction with FATF officials.

General Edlyberto Molina, Acting Director, Oficina National Anti Drogas and Head of the Venezuelan delegation to the FATF Plenary welcomed the decision which recognizes the recent legislative enactments to criminalize terrorist financing and to establish procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets as well as suspicious transactions reporting obligations for money laundering and terrorist financing.

General Molina confirmed Venezuela’s unwavering commitment to continue strengthening its national capacity to comply with and effectively implement the FATF standards through ongoing dialogue with both the FATF and the CFATF.


CFATF Ministers at Special Ministerial III which was held in Miami on August 24th 2012 unanimously applauded the appointment of Ms. Dawne Spicer, Deputy Executive Director CFATF Secretariat as a Co Chair of the FATF Global Network Coordinating Group (GNCG) whose overall purpose is to support the work of the global network of the FATF and FATF Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs). The other Co Chair is from South Africa.
Ms. Spicer is the first woman to Co Chair an FATF Working Group and her appointment takes on added significance as a considerable achievement for the CFATF as a whole in that the CFATF is the first FATF Style Regional Body (FSRB) to have one of its representatives Co-Chair an FATF Working Group.
Ms. Spicer’s appointment was confirmed at the FATF June 2012 Plenary Meeting where she Co-Chaired the first meeting of the FATF GNCG which was conducted with the requisite skill and competence.
Ms. Spicer continued to represent the Caribbean Basin Region on the world stage to glowing tributes at the FATF October 2012 Plenary Meeting in Paris, France.
The staff at the CFATF Secretariat is extremely proud of our colleague.


Mr. Stephen Thompson, Inspector, Compliance Commission, The Bahamas, who represented his country at the FATF Plenary Meeting, during the Plenary discussions on the FATF ICRG process, commended all delegations that made progress in rectifying deficiencies in their respective AML/CFT regimes and in particular applauded the progress made by Venezuela along with the significant progress made by Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr Thompson noted that the CFATF will continue to encourage those CFATF Members that are still in the FATF ICRG process to do all that is necessary to exit the process and will seek to ensure that no CFATF Member will enter the FATF ICRG again.    


Chairman of CFATF
International Department of ONA (Oficina National de Antidrogas),

The Bahamas

Mr. Stephen THOMPSON
Bahamas Compliance Commission

Trinidad and Tobago

Financial Intelligence Unit, Ministry of Finance

AML/CFT Compliance
Ministry of National Security


General Edlyberto MOLINA
Acting Director, Oficina National Antidrogas
Head of Delegation

Mrs. Annalibe RUIZ G.
Directora Contra Legitimación de Capitales
Oficina Nacional Antidrogas (ONA)

Mr. Alejandro FERNANDEZ
Director de Analisis e Inteligencia
Oficina Nacional Contra la Delincuencia Organizada y Financiamiento al Terrorismo

Ms. Yasmeliz Yakelin FLORES ARISPE
Analista Internacional
Oficina contra la Delicuencia Organizada y Financiamiento al Terrorismo


Mr. Calvin Wilson, Executive Director
Ms. Dawne Spicer, Deputy Executive Director
Mr. Roger Hernandez, Financial Advisor

CFATF SECRETARIAT- October 19th 2012

May 2012 Plenary meeting in San Salvador, El SalvadorThree months after the meeting of senior officials at the May 2012 Plenary meeting in San Salvador, El Salvador, Ministers from the twenty nine member countries of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) will convene for Special Ministerial Meeting III in Miami on Friday 24th August 2012.

Given the ongoing impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the small and developing countries of the Caribbean Basin Region which comprise the CFATF membership, Ministers will discuss within this context the annual budget, annual membership fees and the audited financial statements of the organisation, all of which are critical to sustaining regional efforts and strengthening regional capacity to combat the threats of trans national organised crime, money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The CFATF is the first of eight FATF Style Regional Bodies that form the global Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Network and is important to international efforts to protect the international financial system. With this in mind, CFATF Members through the CFATF Working Group on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Issues (CFATF WGFI) actively participated in the process to revise the FATF 40 Recommendations which were promulgated by the FATF and which will be considered for formal endorsement by the CFATF at Special Ministerial III.

Please be advised that the CFATF will be hosting its XXXV Plenary Meeting at the Sheraton Presidente Hotel San Salvador, in San Salvador, El Salvador, during Monday 21st to Friday 25th May 2012.

All delegates wishing to attend this meeting must register via this website. There are however specific entry requirements which vary from country to country. These requirements are listed here (Visa Entry Requirements). Please view these requirements before registering.

You may register to attend the CFATF XXXV Plenary by clicking here (XXXV Registration).

To register with the Sheraton Presidente Hotel San Salvador you must complete the hotel registration form and send it via fax to (503) 2283-4088 or email to e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please download the Sheraton Presidente Hotel San Salvador registration form by clicking here (Hotel Registration Form). DEADLINE FOR HOTEL REGISTRATION: MAY 8TH 2012