CIG to spend millions addressing CFATF report

| 09/04/2019 | 10 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin (bottom right) in Finance Committee on Friday 5 April

(CNS): The government will be spending many millions of dollars to improve the anti-money laundering, counter terrorism and financial crime regime in Cayman over the next year, following the recent findings of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, Premier Alden McLaughlin told Finance Committee on Friday. He said the more than $600,000 appropriation for the new Customs and Border Control Agency was one of many increases in public spending this year as a direct result of the “unfavourable report” from CFATF.

McLaughlin explained that the money his ministry was asking for was to bolster the regime for fighting financial crime and would be spent on more staff, training and improving systems.

He said the additional appropriation was not all that significant, given that the annual budget for the new border control agency was originally $4.8 million, so although it was a “material” amount, it was “not an outrageous increase”. He said that the merger of the immigration enforcement arm with customs to create the agency “had gone remarkably well” but the money had nothing to do with the merger.

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He said that members would see many significant increases in funding throughout this current supplementary request for all agencies that have any interface with things linked to enforcement regarding financial crime. The spending was as a result of the “necessity for us to significantly improve our anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing regime,” the premier noted.

“We have gotten quite an unfavourable report from the implementation perspective from the CFATF, ” McLaughlin said. “We are working right across the full range of entities and agencies that are required to have those systems in place and to improve them.”

He explained that Cayman had been placed in an observation period and it has one year to get the system up to a satisfactory standard. “If we don’t then we will be moved from observation status to a grey list and then it gets worse after that, so we are committed to spending many millions of dollars to deal with it,” McLaughlin warned.

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You can’t expect people to believe in your many laws if you never enforce any of them.
    New investor: I want to do X.
    Cayman: That’s illegal here.
    New Investor: How many people have been caught in the past 20years?
    Cayman: None.
    New Investor: I’m going to do X.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, Anonymous 4:18pm, you left off the last retort in your post!

      “Cayman: We will tell you where to send the payola.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    How much will it cost to enact SIPL law? zero?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The prosecution of a few money launderers, of which there are many in Cayman, would do wonders for the Cayman image in the EU, UK and OECD. Currently, there have been zero prosecutions for money laundering in Cayman which is very bad for Cayman’s image.

  4. Say it like it is says:

    Just like the poachers of our marine animals, it’s no good adopting all this money laundering legislation if we don’t enforce it. Government must take responsibility for this fiasco which should not have occurred.

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect enforcement is one of the areas that has remained underfunded and understaffed despite the improvements we’ve made. It’s a common criticism that no one ever goes to prison for crimes they committed using Cayman entities. That kind of change needs a lot of investment to happen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Doesn’t need a lot of investment, it needs political will, particularly if Caymanians are involved or it may upset the financial services industry.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those using Cayman vehicles are often (a) non-Caymanian, and (b) arrested and prosecuted elsewhere, for crimes carried out in their markets, with no intention of extradition back to Cayman. eg. DoJ have been in charge of SEC violations, not CIMA. CIMA just blindly gathers the file info and passes it on, using their regulator-to-regulator MOU mechanism. We’ve never had the sophistication to muster more than that. If you read the CFATF complaint, there are several years where CIMA SARs went wholly unexamined – esp in regards to SIBL securities dealers. A new expert was hired to fix that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Long before enforcement, there must be some willingness to disclose for actionable detection. Our “regulating agencies” are willfully unaware of the financial detail in the sectors they are presumably responsible for overseeing. Many of the business sectors identified are either self-regulating, or continue to do the bare minimum required to pass inspection and continue their game. Real Estate Agents, Gemstone/Prec Metal/Pawn brokers, and Lawyers in particular.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like your comments, Say it like it is. This one is really funny! “Government must take responsibility”. That’s hilarious!

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