Strengthening justice services vital to combating AML/CFT
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Meaningful engagement, collaboration and effective communication with the criminal justice service is absolutely vital in order to detect criminal activity, terrorism and the attempted misuse of the financial system.
This was stressed by the Executive Secretary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), David Lewis, at the official opening of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s (CFATF) 46 Plenary and Working Group Meetings, held at Marriott Hotel, today.
This year, the FATF, through the global network, is reaching out to the prosecutorial services and criminal justice systems of FATF members to draw attention to the intricate structures used for legal and illegal activities. The financial body is also seeking to highlight the growing nexus between organised crime and terrorism, to raise awareness with national authorities and the private sector.
“The FATF presidency recognises that the legitimacy of global AML/CFT efforts rests not only in effective prevention but in convictions, sanctions, freezing, confiscation and assets recovery for the benefits of both states and victims,” Lewis said.
Lewis called on the CFATF to maintain its participation in its joint endeavours with FATF and gave assurances that the FATF is committed to supporting and working with the regional organisation.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the CFATF and Attorney General of Turks and Caicos, Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles pointed out, under her one-year tenure, the focus was on institutional building and governance strengthening of its membership.
Immediate past Chairperson of CFATF and Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, Faris Al-Rawi, noted that CFATF is in a better position now than it was three years ago. He called on the membership to remain committed to their obligations under CFATF.
“Collective advocacy is required in our grouping to educate, inform and sometimes push back against sharp practices,” AG Al-Rawi said as he warned that there are real consequences to inaction.
He encouraged the CFATF “to gel in a more meaningful sense”. “If jurisdictions don’t come together to participate we’re going to be denying ourselves the opportunity to be forewarned and therefore forearmed. We’re going to be denying our opportunity for growth in the jurisdictional and assessor experience and we’re going to miss the opportunity to be intimately informed and aware of the real issues,” AG Al-Rawi stressed.
This CFATF meeting being held in Guyana includes the mutual evaluation of jurisdictions and the bugging issues in reports in time for the fourth-round mutual evaluation.
By: Tiffny Rhodius
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