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Govt presents amended Barbados money laundering law to select committee

Parliament Building

Government has presented a fine-tuned Barbados model Anti Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism legislation that seeks to improve the governance mechanism, Junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill said Thursday.

“In fact, the Government’s counter-proposals of amendments recently placed before the Special Select Committee is a modified version of the Barbadian model, deliberately crafted to take into account the possible concern of CFATF in relation to that model,” he said.

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman, Ronald Webster on Thursday told a National Consultation on the status of government’s proposed amendments that the Barbados model should be adopted.

Barbados’ AML/CFT law provides for an 11-member Board which is chaired by a representative of the university and the deputy is drawn from the private sector. The others are the Solicitor General, the Head of Customs, the Supervisor of Insurance, Registrar of Companies, the Central Bank of Barbados and two members of the private sector who are specialised in banking and finance.

Reacting, President Donald Ramotar noted that the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) was “beginning to have some problems with the Barbados model”.

A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) proposal for the 65-member House to be involved in appointing staff of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been rejected by government on grounds that it would amount to a conflict of interest by “politically exposed persons”. APNU also wants the law to be amended to provide for the establishment of an Anti Money Laundering Authority to oversee the enforcement of the law.

Webster explained that under the Barbados model, that country’s Financial Intelligence Unit reports to the Board after collecting and analysing data.

While government has submitted alternative amendments, it is at the same time pushing for its original amendments that have been blessed by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to be passed “unaltered as a first priority”. The Ramotar administration has at the same time said that that any model that is approved must meet CFATF’s approval.