Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 14th 2013 Contents A16
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 14, 2013
T&TEC chairman Susilla Ramkisson-Mark, left, touches off the football to
councillor Dianne Bishop, after flipping the switch to formally turn on the lights
at the Crown Street Recreation Ground in Tacarigua, on Wednesday night.
With them at centre is Kandahar Open Bible football team captain Kevin
Alexander and chairman of the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation Khadijah
Ameen, right. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE
As global efforts continue to combat money laun-
dering and financial terrorism, corporate commu-
nications specialist of the Ministry of Finance
Dominic Hinds is calling for more arrests and pros-
ecution of white-collar criminals.
He was speaking in response to an article published
last month in the Montreal Gazette, which quoted
two Canadian money-laundering experts as saying
T&T was a haven for money laundering.
In a statement sent via e-mail on Wednesday, Hinds
said efforts were being made to combat money laun-
dering and financial terrorism in T&T. He also said
there was no proof that the underground criminal
network is keeping T&T s economy afloat.
"While all countries have an element of what you
mentioned as underground proceeds in their economy,
we have no information that this is sustaining T&T
economically," Hinds said.
He said, however, that the Central Bank or the
Central Statistical Office might be better positioned
to give T&T s economic outlook.
He also pointed out that the Montreal Gazette
offered no proof to support its claims.
The Gazette story, published on May 30, said T&T
and Panama were known money-laundering havens
where one can stash millions of dollars and transfer
funds to offshore accounts without authorities finding
The article stemmed from the arrest of Arthur
Porter, former head of the McGill University Health
Centre, and his wife, who were headed to T&T when
they were arrested on charges of money laundering
and conspiracy arising from a $1.3 billion contract.
"No facts were provided in the article to substantiate
the allegation," Hinds said.
"It is the international body, the Financial Action
Task Force (FATF), which sets standards and monitors
effective implementation of legal, regulatory and oper-
ational measures for combating money laundering,
terrorist financing and other related threats to the
integrity of the international financial system."
He noted that T&T was removed from the FATF s
public statement in October 2012.
"The removal of T&T from the FATF s public state-
ment was as a result of the FATF s satisfaction with
the significant progress made by T&T in improving
the anti-money laundering and combating financial
terrorism (AML/CFT) regime."
Hind said several attempts have been made to com-
bat money laundering in T&T.
"To our knowledge, the Central Bank has imple-
mented systems for the financial institutions they
supervise to prevent money laundering and the financ-
ing of terrorism, but the Central Bank would be best
positioned to expand on all the measures they have
Asked whether the FIU had succeeded in preventing
money laundering, Hinds said: "There are several
measures which countries must implement to deter
and detect money laundering.
"The FIU serves as the information-related arm
of anti-money laundering and financial terrorism
measures...it is an administrative-type FIU and does
not conduct investigations.
"The FIU produces intelligence which it then sends
to the law-enforcement agencies who conduct the
investigation into the matters."
He noted that the FIU, as the supervisory authority
for listed businesses and non-regulated financial insti-
tutions, also monitors these entities compliance with
the anti-money-laundering and financial terrorism
laws and regulations.
While the FIU is only one of the supervisory author-
ities, the Central Bank supervises financial institutions
while the Securities Commission supervises securities
T&T cracking down
on money launderers
broker dealers, investment advisors and underwriters,
Hinds said all of these entities---the FIU, Central
Bank, Securities Commission and the supervised
businesses and individuals---had obligations to imple-
ment measures to detect and deter money launderers.
He said there must also be greater public awareness
"Reporting entities comply with their AML/CFT
obligations, especially by reporting transactions which
they reasonably suspect to involve money laundering
and financial terrorism."
He also said there must be more prosecution of
those who have committed money laundering and
The FIU has implemented several preventative
measures in AML/CFT (as published in its
annual report 2012).
Training and outreach to individuals and
entities which have AML/CFT obligations
Providing guidance to reporting entities to
assist them in complying with their
Providing feedback to reporting entities on the
suspicious transaction reports (STRs)
On-site supervision of FIU supervised entities
Enforcement action against entities that are
in breach of their obligations
Increased number of intelligence reports
submitted to the law-enforcement agencies
Co-operation and collaboration with Central
Bank, T&T Securities and Exchange
Commission and the law-enforcement
WHAT HAS THE FIU DONE?
LET THERE BE LIGHT
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