Professional money laundering, how to spot terrorism financing, and financial crime involving complex corporate structures was discussed during the Financial Crime Investigation Unit’s (FCIU) recent Stakeholders Forum.
The forum provides an environment for law enforcement and financial services industry representatives to discuss and share information that may help detect, prevent and disrupt money laundering and wider economic crime threats in the Cayman Islands.
Class A banks compliance representatives, corporate services providers and mutual fund administrators attended the 25 September forum, alongside representatives from the Financial Reporting Authority, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the National Coordination Team for the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group (AMLSG).
The forum fulfils a recommendation given to the Cayman Islands this past March by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), in its assessment of Cayman’s regime for fighting money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation (weapons of mass destruction) financing.
“There are great benefits to having law enforcement and the private sector working together, because the scale and complexity of serious organised crime – including financial crimes such as money laundering – requires active partnership between government and industry,” said the FCIU’s Detective Chief Inspector Richard Barrow.
“The Stakeholders Forum therefore recognises and accommodates where the responsibilities of law enforcement, government and the financial sector overlap. Attendees have said they appreciate the ability to hold open, productive discussions on these sensitive topics,” he said.
Following presentations from the experts, the forum participants participated in small group break-out sessions to share general characteristics that underlie suspicious activity and best practices when filing a suspicious activity report. By all accounts, the meeting of the Stakeholders’ Forum was a success.
“There is a clear willingness by all parties to participate in the forum, which indicates Cayman’s commitment as a jurisdiction to global standards in these areas,” said Elisabeth Lees who, in her role as the AMLSG’s National Coordinator, supports Government and the private sector’s response to the CFATF report.
“The forum’s work strengthens Cayman’s ability to disrupt financial crime both domestically and internationally, which is a positive development.”
The Stakeholders’ Forum is expected to continue to meet on a quarterly basis, Mr Barrow said. It eventually will expand its membership to the wider financial services sector and designated non-financial businesses and professions (such as accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, and dealers of precious metals and stones), which are also required to comply with Cayman Islands anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
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