United effort needed to fight money laundering
Caribbean countries, and specifically Barbados, have been mentioned by two recent United Nations and United States State Department reports as an area vulnerable to money laundering associated with illegal narcotics and the laundering of criminal proceeds.
This was noted by former United States banking regulator and international financial consultant Frederick Curry as he reflected on the reasons that small open economies such as Barbados should adhere strictly to anti-money laundering (AML) measures and international benchmarks.
Curry, who is the principal of the Forensic and Dispute Services practice of the Washington-based Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, said that Barbados and its neighbours should look to foreign direct investment for economic growth.
But, he said, international investors could be prevented from channelling investments into countries that did not exhibit strong money laundering controls and the will to prosecute financial crimes.
The Deloitte executive made these observations as he discussed the messages he intended to send to those in attendance at the 34th annual Crime Stoppers International Conference, at which he will be speaking on October 2, at Hilton Barbados.
On that day, Curry and other experts in the area will deliver a series of presentations and workshops devoted to ventilating issues related to corruption, financial crimes and the financing of terrorism. Organizers are encouraging companies to send employees who deal with financial transactions.
Curry said one of the main messages he wanted to send was that combating money laundering in Barbados and the Caribbean required a coordinated effort between strong financial institutions and law enforcement.
He further advised financial institutions to implement robust AML compliance programmes, which he said should be built around four pillars: instituting a designated AML officer to monitor, coordinate and report financial crimes; implementing a well-defined comprehensive AML programme with written policies, procedures and controls; ongoing role-based training and education for employees to ensure they recognize what should be red-flagged; rigorous independent testing of the programme to ensure it is being implemented effectively. (PR)