AML/CFT Summary Issued
The Attorney General’s Chambers today (Wednesday, 26 April 2017) released findings from the Cayman Islands first National Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment (NRA).
The main results of the assessment were released to the financial industry just ahead of the general public on Tuesday (25 April). Publication of the information is intended to inform continuing preparations for the upcoming Cayman Islands Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation by Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) at the end of the year.
In addition to providing stakeholders with information that will help them manage and mitigate risk, Chair of the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group, Attorney General, Hon. Sam Bulgin, says the risk assessment will also allow more efficient allocation of resources to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
“It is important for us to understand the threats, risks and vulnerabilities that face our jurisdiction. These summary results are based on analyses of reports from competent authorities, government agencies, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, and as such they represent a first-time review of the key risks in the Cayman Islands,” Mr Bulgin remarks.
Preliminary findings were that while anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing efforts are well-coordinated and effective, more could be done to strengthen the local regime. Additional details are outlined in the summary results document released today.
While still working to finalise the draft report, since winding down the NRA process in 2015 Government has taken a number of steps to address concerns. Some measures already enacted include:
• Designating an agency to enhance interagency cooperation and policy coordination on anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing issues (the Anti-Money Laundering Unit in the Attorney General’s Chambers);
• Broadening terrorist financing offences and requirements for freezing of funds or other assets of a person designated by the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolution;
• Enacting requirements for freezing of assets related to nuclear proliferation without delay;
• Providing monitoring and supervision of non-profit organisations, real estate agents and dealers of precious metals and stones; and,
• Removing the criminal sanction for breach of confidential information by repealing the Confidential Information (Preservation) Law and replacing it with the Confidential Information Disclosure Law.
Other measures include strengthening cooperation with international law enforcement agencies, implementing new investigative methods with canines to detect currency, and allocating the resources necessary to ensure law enforcement agencies are equipped to investigate and take enforcement action as needed.
Meanwhile in the remaining months before the peer review Government is committed to working collaboratively with industry to incorporate the findings of the National Risk Assessment into a comprehensive strategy.
Its aims include further legislative enhancements, improved co-operation between local stakeholders, and increased awareness of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing among the industry and general public, among others.
The Cayman Islands Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation by the CFATF will take place 4 – 15 December, 2017. During their visit officials will meet with Government, the private sector and non-Governmental organisations. The final stage will be a plenary on 18 November, where an assessment of findings will be presented to CFATF members for discussion.
The CFATF began the first stage of the review process on 4 January this year with a desk-based review on the technical compliance and effectiveness of the jurisdiction’s anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime against the international standards set out by the global Financial Action Task Force. Meanwhile local officials began their preparations for the process in late 2014 with the launch of the National Risk Assessment.
A founding member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, the Cayman Islands has undergone three previous mutual evaluations in 1995, 2002 and 2007. The CFATF was established in 1990.
The summary results of the national risk assessment and accompanying briefing note will be available on www.gov.ky from Thursday 27 April.
For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks