Jamaica encourages dialogue as Guyana prepares for fourth round of CFATF/FATF evaluations
DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Guyana must facilitate “a lot of dialogue” as it prepares to face its fourth-round mutual evaluation from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) / Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Jamaica’s Chief Technical Director of Financial Investigation Division within the Ministry of Finance, Robin Sykes, noted that clearing the fourth round is more than just the passage of laws.
He was speaking to media today on the sidelines of the 46 Plenary and Working Group Meetings of CFATF being held at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston.
“We’re talking about people like nonprofit organisations, lawyers, accountants, all of these persons who have a role to play in anti-money laundering. It’s quite an effort to bring all of these new parties on board and that is something that a lot of dialogue has to take place,” Sykes said.
Guyana’s “dilemma” is effectively demonstrating that it is creating and enforcing the necessary laws and measures to assessors, Sykes noted. “CFAT is an excellent forum for the sharing of ideas and experiences across the region,” he added.
Sykes noted that “capacity issues with a number of jurisdictions” is a concern during the evaluation since the C/FATF regime goes beyond the law enforcement regime. Getting relevant stakeholders, in Jamaica’s case lawyers, to buy into anti-money laundering obligations were some of the challenges faced by Jamaica during its implementation stage. “Jurisdictions have to fight on a number of fronts to get this across,” he pointed out.
Since coming to office in May 2015, the government has taken steps to ensure the country’s financial systems become fully compliant with AML/CFT regulations. Among the steps taken are the enactment of the AML/CFT legislation, appointment of a director and deputy director for the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and making the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) functional.
Reducing the profit for crime
Sykes noted that the implementation of measures to tackle financial crimes, like money laundering, might seem secondary to reducing more prevalent kinds in a jurisdiction.
However, he reasoned, “The reality is that a lot of crime is generated by profit and therefore if you can reduce the profit generated by crime that should be a significant deterrent and a reduction in the overall levels of crime.”
CFATF assists jurisdictions to build their capacity in addressing financial crimes which Sykes consider critical to agencies like the Financial Intelligence Units, regulators, and police. However, Sykes noted the need for capacity building for jurisdictions to investigate financial crimes which more times than not transcend borders.
By: Tiffny Rhodius
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