Categorized | National News

AG Foreshadows Tough Policies

The government is working to toughen existing polices to fight financial crimes in the country, but Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson declined to say whether The Bahamas would stand to receive negative ratings from regional bodies like the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) if the web shop industry continued to be unregulated.

“The prime minster has already indicated that this is an area that has to be addressed,” Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said.

“The country cannot tolerate such a risk and as regulations of the sector proceed you will hear the relevant announcements in that regard.”

The attorney general led discussions as chairperson during the 1st Annual Regional Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Conference held at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel on Wednesday.

She said The Bahamas takes its role in financial services as a tool for the development of the country very seriously.

“The prime minister has already said it, we will put in place the strongest framework for anti-money laundering and counter financing and terrorism framework no matter what and it’s an important one for the future of the country,” she said.

Earlier this year, Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas Wendy Craigg said web shops are operating outside of the regulatory framework and that unregulated businesses could be vulnerable to criminal exploitation.

The two-day conference brought together financial experts from throughout the Caribbean.

Financial Services Minister Ryan Pinder who was also in attendance said it is important for Caribbean nations to unite in the fight against financial crimes.

“Internationally, the reputation of the region in financial services is often said to be as strong as your weakest link,” he said.

“This is a platform where we can bring all countries from the Caribbean region to discuss in a very frank manner areas where we need to improve, areas where we can come together as one and push forward.”

Minister Pinder added that money laundering is always a risk element in every financial sector.

“The Bahamas is very compliant internationally and always has been,” he said.

“We have our Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers who I call the gate keepers of the money laundering matters and the gate keepers of our institutions with respect to financial crimes. We would like to be able to take that expertise regionally and develop it to have a rising tide for all. For any financial centre those are the some of the key issues, money laundering and financial crimes and being able to protect yourselves and protect your jurisdiction and find opportunities to grown within.”

The CFATF is an organisation of 29 states of the Caribbean, the organisation’s main objective is to achieve effective implementation of and compliance with its recommendations to prevent and control money laundering and to combat the financing of terrorism.

The conference ends on today.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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