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Keeping on top of money laundering

Natasha Beckles

Keeping on top of money laundering

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REGULATORY AUTHORITIES are taking steps to ensure that the relevant entities in Barbados do not run afoul of new international Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) guidelines.
This is according to the director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Anti-Money Laundering Authority of Barbados (AMLA), Shelley Nicholls-Hunte, who says designated non-financial businesses and professionals (DNFBPs) – which include accountants engaged in specific activities, attorneys at law, dealers in precious metals and precious stones, real estate agents, and trust and corporate service providers – are being sensitized about the new standards.
She said the Office of the Attorney General and the AMLA had also recently approved the creation of a sub-working group to work on the establishment of a local DNFBP regime.
AML guidelines
The certified AML specialist, who has assisted in the drafting of several pieces of legislation, including the current Money Laundering And Financing Of Terrorism (Prevention And Control) Act, said the working group was drafting AML guidelines for each group of DNFBPs.
These guidelines would help to give “more body” to the AML legislation, she said during a seminar hosted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Caribbean, the FIU and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) at Hilton Barbados last week.
The FIU is currently focused on the analysis of suspicious transaction reports that come from accountants or financial institutions, but Nicholls-Hunte noted that the establishment of a compliance department was under discussion.
“Because of additional supervisory responsibilities the FIU now, like many of the FIUs around the world that have the same mandate, will have to create a compliance department which will be able to better sensitize you, the entities, as well as be able to conduct inspections,” she told the gathering.
Self-regulatory status
Also under discussion was the question of whether Barbados should pursue self-regulatory status whereby bodies like ICAB would act as an intermediary between members and the FIU.
“The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) recommendations do not dictate any one particular model [like] whether or not there should be self-regulatory status or whether you want to interact directly with the FIU.
“Of course, discussions like that surround certain aspects of Government policy [and] available resources for the association to conduct that particular responsibility,” Nicholls-Hunte said.