Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:42 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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FDI at risk if anti-money laundering compliance not met
BRIDGETOWN—The Caribbean has been mentioned by two recent United Nations and United States Department of State reports as a region 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 in the Caribbean should adhere strictly to anti-money laundering (AML) measures and international benchmarks.
Curry, who is the principal of the Forensic & Dispute Services practice of the Washington-based Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, noted that some Caribbean islands look to foreign direct investment for economic growth but 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, which he will be speaking at on October 2, at the Hilton Barbados, Needhams Point, St Michael.
Curry said one of the main messages that he wanted to send was that combating money laundering in the Caribbean required a coordinated effort between strong financial institutions and law enforcement committed to prosecuting such crimes. He 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 recognise what should be red-flagged; rigorous independent testing of the programme to ensure it is being implemented effectively. Companies interested in adding an anonymous reporting mechanism to their AML programmes for employees to report suspicious transactions that could signal money laundering, can contact Crime Stoppers to learn more about its Integrity Line service. (Caribbean360)
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