UK and local agencies agree on info exchange

| 08/10/2018 | 11 Comments

National Crime Agency, Cayman News Service(CNS): British and Cayman Islands crime fighting agencies appear to have resolved their differences over the exchange of information on beneficial ownership information in criminal probes following recent complaints from the National Crime Agency (NCA) that the Cayman authorities were being uncooperative. Although Premier Alden McLaughlin had refuted these allegations, in a joint statement from him and Lord Ahmad, the Foreign and Commonwealth’s overseas territories minister, the men agreed that the issues under contention had been resolved. 

“Following further talks between Cayman Islands and UK officials concerning the sharing of beneficial ownership information by law enforcement agencies, an agreement has been reached which will allow close and effective cooperation under the Exchange of Notes,” the statement read.

“This followed discussions on the technical process to be used by the General Registry and Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) for providing information to UK law enforcement in a timely manner and assurances from the UK that addressed the Cayman Islands concerns on privacy issues and the secure transmission of data.

“The National Crime Agency (NCA) and RCIPS confirmed that they are satisfied with the operational adjustments and that the agreement immediately allows them to resume collaboration under the Exchange of Notes, which is in addition to the other mechanisms for information exchange that have been in existence for years,” the British minister and the Cayman premier added.

Following the passage in the UK Parliament in May of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which includes the requirement that the British Overseas Territories introduce public beneficial ownership registers before the end of 2020, Premier Alden McLaughlin made it clear that the ‘exchange of notes’ agreement that Cayman had with the UK, which was meant to be in place of a public register, was no longer valid and that while Cayman would continue to cooperate, it would do so as a matter of choice and not obligation.

It also changed the point of contact for the UK’s National Crime Agency from the RCIPS Financial Crimes Unit to the Financial Reporting Authority of the Cayman Islands, which FCO officials said meant British investigators could no longer get 24/7 access to contacts for information exchange.

The premier persistently denied that there had been any failure on the part of Cayman to hand over critical information to the relevant authorities but said there were technical and human rights issues at stake. He said that the UK and Cayman had a “difference of opinion on fundamental issues of data security and human rights, regarding the right to privacy”.

However, the statement issued Monday appears to demonstrate that Cayman has returned to the protocols under the original exchange of notes agreement and that the UK has dealt with concerns in the Cayman Islands over privacy and security issues.

The premier is still pursuing a meeting with the authorities in the UK to review the current constitutional arrangement between the UK and Cayman. The government, with the support of the opposition, is seeking to have section 125 of the Constitution either removed or re-written to prevent Britain from being able to make domestic law for Cayman.

In June McLaughlin said that he had requested a time frame from the UK for when the constitutional talks could start and had been assured that the dates would be settled soon. But more than three months later, there has been no indication about when the Cayman delegation will be invited to London.

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Good news for Cayman. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman islands will see how this fancy one will play out.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    All of this proves that caymanians can sort out caymans problems. At the end of the day great news all around.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing was sorted if Cayman returned to the protocols.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The UK agreed to amend the protocol to address Caymans concerns. Things like encrypting data being shared and keeping shared data private.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman effectively had no choice. There’s a black list looming, remember?
      The UK is still responsible for internal and external security of these islands.

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  4. Ark light says:

    Well Alden is there anything left for you to sellout????

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Well done Alden, Tara and supporting cast.

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