‘Risky’ sectors given online compliance route

| 24/11/2020 | 18 Comments

(CNS): The Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI) has launched an online system for the owners of and those doing business in real estate and jewellery to help them comply with regulations relating to their sales. What are now known as designated non-financial business and professions or DNFBPs for short are the latest risky areas for financial crime and the DCI is tasked with regulating them.

Although real estate alongside precious metals and gems have long been the target of money launderers and others wanting to hide the source of wealth it has taken a while for the international community to shift its intense focus from offshore banking and financial services to these vulnerable sectors in the world of financial crime.

But having done so sectors unused to the gaze of the financial action task force and other global observers must now be more open and knowledgeable about who is investing in their developments, acquiring their penthouse and beachfront condos, or purchasing their jewel encrusted designer watches or gold ingots.

Given the challenges posed by the need for increased regulation and compliance of these sectors and the growth in interactions between the DCI an online system has been established to make things easier. DNFBPs can register online, update information and submit documents such as transactions reports through the new portal.

The system will be used to manage registrations, desktop reviews and administrative fines and will also function as a mechanism for communication between DCI and DNFBPs, officials said in a release abou the new service.

Director of DCI, Ryan Rajkumarsingh said part of DCI’s obligations to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force is to ensure that regulated industries are compliant or are taking steps to achieve compliance with the requirements established under the anti-money laundering regulations.

“We are committed to providing all the required support to ensure compliance and also maintaining continuous communication with our customers,” he said. “We will continue to improve our services… and hope that our customers will reap the benefits…”

Head of Compliance and Enforcement at DCI, Claudia Brady added that the new system is designed to be convenient and less time consuming. “It will facilitate efficient and secure interactions between DCI and DNFBPs. This is part of our continued efforts to improve customer service as we strive to be a world class civil service and also protect the reputation of the Cayman Islands,” she added.

The project to deliver the new online system was managed by the ministry’s E-Government Unit directed by Ian Tibbetts. The Unit continues to expand government services online and 96% of company registrations, annual returns and director changes are now being done digitally, Tibbetts said.

In a few days, the Unit will also launch an online system to allow persons to apply for naturalisation or registration as British Overseas Territories Citizen, as well as a system to facilitate submissions for publishing in the Gazettes. Other online projects include the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing renewal service for guest users and the DCI’s trade and business licence online service which allows business owners to apply or renew their licences online.

Over the past three months, approximately 74% of all trade and business transactions were done online.

“These services have transformed the way our customers can now do business with the Cayman Islands Government, and forms a key part of our strategy to deliver more efficient services to the businesses and the general public,” Tibbetts said.

To accommodate DNFBPs that do not have online access, the DCI will continue to accept hard copies of applications until all DNFBPs are added to the new system. Documents should be submitted to the Department of Commerce and Investment counter at the Government Administration Building.

Members of the public can contact the compliance section of DCI via email at compliance@dci.gov.ky.

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Category: Business, Real Estate, Retail

Comments (18)

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  1. Da-wa-u-get says:

    Next there will be a requirement to do due diligence on the funds we spend buying groceries!

    • Noname says:

      Nice one ! 🤣🤣 . This tiny speck is turning in a 3 ring circus ! 🤣🤪☣️🎪🤡🌎 .

    • Noname says:

      🤣🤣🤣 Nice comment ! Our tiny speck is indeed turning into a 3 ring circus ! 🤪☣️🤡🌎🎪 , cue the 🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️ !

  2. Anonymous says:

    If “onshore” countries spent and did a lot more compliance themselves they could stop dirty money entering the system at source.
    nearly all dirty money that ends up in Cayman entered the financial centre onshore as that it where drug money, etc is earned
    all the proceeds of crime are made in the USA and other major countries and then enter their systems before it can be sent to Cayman.
    Yet we spend astronomically more on AML proportionally to them and a very small proportion moves through the banking system any more.
    It’s “layered’ through cryto-currency, Amazon, Ebay, Lyft, Uber and Airbnb, with little AML being performed.
    When you last used Airbnb, did they ask for details on the source of funds?

  3. Noname says:

    Look, if ever we applied to RE the level of compliance applied to financial services on the island we would have to plan for a LOT more flights than CAL can handle!

    Proper proofing of origin of funds isn’t still in place when it comes to Real Estate ,allowing for a lot of dissimulations .
    IMHO it is only a matter of time before the island gets struck with another blacklisting due to its lack of due diligence and compliance in its Real Estate Sector , when this happens I wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole financial sector leaving our shores pronto !

  4. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the renewal of Business and Trade Licence, do the company(s) have to show a track record that they are compliant with all Laws/regulations, like health insurance, pensions and liability insurance, etc, etc, before the licence can be renewed?

  5. anon says:

    If you ever wondered why we have so many real estate agents and jewellery shops, now you have your answer.

  6. Another day, another piece of flimsy regulation says:

    That horse has already bolted and they’re trying to cover their a$$es before another scandal breaks on these offshores. Now comes the “pretty please go to our govt. web portal” and fill out some forms, lie all you want ’cause we don’t have the resources to follow up. Then if by some Blue Moon bad twist of fate you do get caught you “may get fined” so don’t sweat it. Carry on with funny business as usual. Zzzzzzzzz

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