Noting the work that already has been done to strengthen the Cayman Islands’ regime for anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, and countering the financing of proliferation, Government has put into action an updated plan that seeks to strategically address the Cayman Islands’ AML/CFT/CFP risks.
Covering six core themes, the Cayman Islands Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Strategy 2019-2022 is available on the Anti-Money Laundering Unit’s website.
Leading with forewords from the Premier, the Hon. Alden McLaughlin; and the Attorney General, the Hon. Samuel Bulgin, QC, the strategy identifies the priority enhancements to Cayman’s regime.
“We fully support the global agenda on fighting financial crime, and we have embarked on an extensive work programme to enhance (our) regulatory and operational frameworks,” the Premier said in his foreword.
Thanking those who contributed to the 2019-2022 strategy, the Attorney General recognised that the strategy is designed to ensure that Cayman continues to be “robust and relevant in line with evolving international standards.”
He also said that the March 2019 Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) report on our regime provided Cayman with a unique opportunity to reset the AML/CFT/CFP agenda over the medium term, taking into consideration the strategic areas for improvement that the report highlighted.
The updated strategy, which already has been implemented, builds upon Cayman’s previous 2017 strategy.
The six themes, and current activities to support them, are:
1. Enhancing Cayman’s legal and regulatory framework. Since January 2018, several important laws and regulations have been amended to strengthen the framework, including the Proceeds of Crime Law; Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, Terrorism Law; and Proliferation Financing (Prohibition) Law.
2. Implementing a comprehensive risk-based supervisory framework. Regulators have enhanced their methodologies to ensure they can identify, among the entities they supervise, the ones that are most vulnerable to being misused for money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. More resources have been devoted to those areas of greater risk. In addition, Cayman has conducted several risk assessments, including a review of terrorist financing risks, certain registrants under the Securities Investments Business Law, and risks of non-profit organisations.
3. Strengthening sanctions, intelligence, investigation, enforcement and asset recovery. An Interim Pro-active Task Force has been established within the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and a permanent Bureau of Financial Investigations will be opened shortly. The Financial Reporting Authority has implemented systems that allow anyone to sign up via the FRA’s website to receive updates on lists of targeted financial sanctions. CIMA and other supervisors send automatic notifications to its supervised entities.
4. Enhancing domestic cooperation and coordination. The Financial Crime Focus Group; Proliferation Financing Interagency Group; and the Supervisor’s Forum have been established to ensure domestic cooperation and coordination in the areas of pro-active investigations in line with the jurisdiction’s risk profile, proliferation financing and the supervision of those conducting relevant financial business by their respective supervisors.
5. Ensuring an efficient and effective system for international cooperation. Supervisors and law enforcement agencies have implemented enhanced policies and procedures to request assistance and seek feedback from their overseas counterparts.
6. Raising awareness among all stakeholders and the general public. Industry sectors of Cayman’s business community that have AML/CFT/CFP obligations are continually updated regarding their responsibilities, by the agencies that supervise them. Public awareness initiatives include public service announcements on Radio Cayman and dms stations, as well as media appearances, articles and social media. In addition, a new website for Cayman’s Anti-Money Laundering Unit will be launched soon.
“As we look toward the further strengthening of the Cayman Islands AML/CFT/CFP framework, I wish to thank all the stakeholders who made the successful completion of this document a possibility,” the Attorney General said in his foreword, adding that Cayman must demonstrate the same commitment and fervour in pursuing its effective implementation.