Swedish expert to steer CIG through CFATF update

| 10/09/2019 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service
CIMA Senior Legal Counsel Angelina Partridge, CIMA Acting Deputy Head of Securities Supervision Division Jessica Ebanks, Ministry of Financial Services Senior Policy Analyst Rolna DaCosta, CIMA Head of Securities Supervision Division Gerald Halischuk, and Head of the Cayman Islands Anti-Money Laundering Unit Francis Arana

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government has contracted Jan Tibbling, the former chief public prosecutor at the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (SECA), to help the National Coordination Team steer its way through the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) follow-up. In its review of Cayman earlier this year, CFATF found numerous weakness and vulnerabilities and the jurisdiction has until February to plug the gaps and avoid blacklisting.

Since the report, the government has passed a swathe legislation to address the problems, not just relating to the offshore financial sector but in other sectors, from charities to jewellers and others believed to be at risk of being used for money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

Tibbling was drafted in last month to help the newly established Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group, headed up by Elisabeth Lees, prepare for the first update later this month. Tibbling’s SECA team deals with financial crime cases, including money laundering, tax crimes, and embezzlement.

Having represented Sweden at several Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenaries and sat as the law enforcement FATF assessor for Austria, he is well placed to advise Cayman in relation to its preparations, officials said in a press release. Lees added that SECA had been recognised by FATF as a specialised investigation and prosecution agency representing “the gold standard of expertise and investigation in economic crimes, using innovative techniques”.

Cayman News Service
Jan Tibbling

The National Coordination Team is working on a report to be delivered to the CFATF on 24 September. It will detail the progress on the recommended actions and technical deficiencies outlined in March’s CFATF Mutual Evaluation Report.

Over the last six months government has created the Financial Crimes Focus Group to ensure that intelligence, law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies work effectively to combat financial crimes. This includes developing multi-agency policy and guidance for detecting, investigating, and prosecuting financial crimes.   

A ministerial subcommittee has been established demonstrating the political commitment to the CFATF process and oversees progress, officials from the financial services ministry stated.

The Supervisors’ Forum, chaired by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), allows information sharing among agencies with responsibility for ensuring compliance among Cayman’s financial institutions, non-profit organisations and “designated non-financial businesses or professionals”, such as accountants. This in turn assists with detecting and preventing crime, which enhances Cayman’s international cooperation and contributes to global anti-crime efforts, the ministry added.

Lees said that CIMA recently hosted FATF Training and Research Institute (FATF TREIN) training on its standards for all relevant government agencies, as well as the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association (CILPA) and the Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants (CIIPA), which are industry bodies that regulate their members.

She explained that Cayman is in the process of carrying out assessments of AML/CFT/PF risks in certain specific sectors, as recommended in the report, to align the regime here with areas of higher risk.

To assist with this risk assessment, consultants Financial Transparency Advisors (FTA) also returned to Cayman last month to host workshops involving the AMLU and the Financial Reporting Authority (FRA), both in Portfolio of Legal Affairs, the Ministry of Financial Services, Tax Information Authority, General Registry, Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI), Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Customs and Border Control, the RCIPS Financial Crimes Unit, and CIMA.

CFATF activity included awareness sessions in August and September on filing suspicious activity reports and targeted financial sanctions. DCI has also held workshops for dealers of precious metals and stones, real estate practitioners and developers. In addition, the non-profit sector was involved in a workshop with the General Registry. CIMA is expected to hold a session this Friday with banks, and trust and corporate service providers.

Premier Alden McLaughlin has described Cayman’s response to CFATF as a national priority and has already budgeted millions of dollars to tackle the shortcomings. Lees said the private sector has responded to government’s leadership on policy and legislation. “This shows Cayman’s continuing commitment to ensuring our sound understanding of the FATF standards, which will increase our effectiveness as we implement them,” she added.

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Category: Business, Financial Services, Politics

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So why isn’t Tara leading this? No mention of her in the article whatsoever. Is she finally owning up and admitting she’s out of her depth in such matters?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean they are going to arrest fronters and their lawyers, or are some crimes and money laundering acceptable?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, that kind money laundering is still acceptable. If there is no direct link to illegal drugs and (the wrong kind of) terrorists it will be business as usual. Lying as to ownership of businesses, and practicing law without required permission all over the world continues to be mainstream, and no one will do a damned thing about it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How does one get on this consultancy cash cow

  4. RatWatchingTheCheese says:

    I wonder if he visited Switzerland, Frankfurt, Paris, (London) before coming down to Cayman.

    The fact is, if the Europeans can get Cayman out of their business that would be the of fireworks and champagne all over Europe.

    I guess Cayman has to capitulate to keep its share of the market. And the Govt thought it best to hire them to get it right ? I’m not an expert but we know this is the “rat watching the cheese”.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope true Caymanians will benefit from this consultancy rather than those who continue to leverage the expertise gained here to their personal advancement and advantage. We see too many who do this and our Caymanians are left behind or bad mouthed to the extent that simpletons believe even the remotest of such bad mindedness.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Waste of time and money all round, but if that’s all that’s required to keep the sluice gates open it’s fine by me. Apparently the thought never occurs to spend all this effort on actual investigation and prosecution instead of meetings and seminars.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow, wolf in the hen house. I would not trust any representative from the EU. Their entire mission is to put Cayman out of business.

  8. Anonymous says:

    FATF and CFATF change goal posts every two weeks. They are trying to keep themselves employed while trying to bankrupt our economies. Bah humbug

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair, these goal posts have been there for some time – we just thought we could get away with ignoring them because compliance is hard (and may limit some peoples “business” activities). Same mindset over implementing the SIPL, only this time there are international repercussions, whereas the rest of the world doesn’t care if our politicians and their cronies rip us off.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, our gatekeepers have been too stupid, naive, or both to be aware of industrial-scale laundering going on in several industries. Meanwhile, law abiding professionals, with militant compliance officers, and MLROs, spend thousands of work hours in training and demonstration of compliance while other areas drag our jurisdiction backwards. CFATF highlights years of unactioned SARs…how do you blame that on the EU, or BVI/Guyana?!?

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