Cayman chairs CFATF as it awaits de-listing

| 21/11/2022 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service
Attorney General Sam Bulgin (file photo)

(CNS): The Cayman Islands is preparing to host the 55th Plenary and Working Group Meetings of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) this weekend, during which Attorney General Sam Bulgin will assume the chair on behalf of Cayman, taking over from Bermuda. Over 200 overseas delegates will be attending the five-day event alongside 130 local people representing a cross-section of relevant authorities. Cayman currently remains on the FATF grey list over one issue, which the jurisdiction has until February next year to deal with.

The meeting will include the fourth round of mutual evaluation reports and follow-ups for jurisdictions that have been assessed as a means of monitoring progress. It will be the first in-person CFATF plenary since November 2019, as lockdown and travel restrictions measures were imposed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting coincides with the 30th anniversary of the CFATF as the first FATF-Style Regional Body (FSRB) to be established.

According to a press release, the various working group meetings will take place from Sunday to Tuesday, with the main plenary meeting scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, 29-30 November.

The CFATF is one of two FSRBs in the Western Hemisphere, with a membership of 24 jurisdictions. Its purpose includes implementing and monitoring measures to address money laundering (ML), terrorism financing (TF) and proliferation financing (PF) with respect to weapons of mass destruction, in line with international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).  

Bulgin said this will be the third time that Cayman will be assuming the chairmanship of the CFATF. “The Cayman Islands Government is well aware of the importance of financial services to its economy and the need to proactively engage in the global fight against money launderers and those who finance terrorism and proliferation,” he said.

Cayman has been an active member of the CFATF since its inception in November 1992, the release stated. The jurisdiction actively enforced legislation to counter the Proliferation and Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2010, before the issue was incorporated into FATF Recommendations in 2012 or the FATF Methodology in 2013. The Cayman Islands has undergone four rounds of CFATF Mutual Evaluations in 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2019.

Officials said hosting the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Plenary Meeting aligns with the Government of the Cayman Islands’ mission to enhance and solidify the territory’s reputation as a pre-eminent jurisdiction for financial services.


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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Will the Attorney General be misleading the CFATF plenary about the true state of the Cayman Islands’ compliance with FATF Recommendations and action points?

    The Cayman Islands has not always been forthright with the international bodies, but what else is new?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Government of the Cayman Islands also has a mission to enhance and solidify the territory’s reputation as a bastion of political corruption, narco-trafficking and money laundering, under the smokescreen of being the pre-eminent jurisdiction for financial services, and per the frameworks designed by Sam Bulgin. Taking it on tour!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Attorney General has been as source of AML problems (not solutions) for the Cayman Islands, but it is never too late to resile from those ways and to ultimately help (not hurt) our beloved Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What a wit you are, 9:05.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that CIG chose US Thanksgiving week to host a regional-level financial conference and the Privy Council.

    All Most Hon. Justices and many international delegates and attendees are “VIPs” and expect to be accommodated as such, at peak luxury hotel and and car rental rates, plus all the trimmings.

    Separate departments they are but it’s all out of the same kitty – CIG (public funds).

    Wonder how much those two November events will cost…

    …..not even going near Pirates Week and the upcoming “airshow”.

    Ca-chinggg!!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Great news.

    Perhaps Mr. Bulgin can confirm he will be stopping the widespread and open unlawful practice of Cayman Law, assist in the identification and prosecution of numerous financial service professionals and entities who cannot even be trusted to stay within the lines of domestic Cayman legislation, and open a meaningful investigation into numerous longstanding allegations of corruption? Certain cabinet status grants, for example?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Still stuck on and beating the 2003 Status grant dead-horse,I see?

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      • Anonymous says:

        With The 2003 status grants Mac planted the seeds , and we are all suffering the consequences of the many illegal grant recipients , who have further blessed us with their children and grandchildren.
        Lest we forget ….Thanks Mac.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Sam Bulgin was installed by McKeeva Bush via coup in 2003. You can’t make this stuff up.

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          • Anonymous says:

            I am no fan of Bulgin but he applied for the post and was interviewed in London along with others ( including the late Steven Hall Jones) and was thereafter appointed. You may have doubts about him, 9:08, but your “installed by Mckeeva Bush via coup in 2003” comment is just plain b.s.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Not my original comment but you may be right. Sam Bulgin was granted status by Mckeeva Bush in 2003; and appointed AG, and then opined as to the lawfulness of Mckeeva’s grants, would probably be a more accurate record of what actually happened.

              Not sure that makes it much better.

            • Anonymous says:

              To be fair to the AG, this is true. And, despite what anyone might say to the contrary, it is hard (if not impossible) not to argue that the current AG is far more of a man of integrity than the last one.

              I too have serious criticisms of the current AG, but he is nice person and means well, but is perhaps easily misguided or mislead by other influences.

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      • Anonymous says:

        That horse not dead. It is still kicking – spraying the odor of corruption across our community. Destroying lives and livelihoods, and the very future of Cayman. It is a disgusting stain. A blemish on our history. A time when law enforcers themselves may have become enablers and facilitators of corruption. And no one dare look for fear of what they may find.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No AG or any government to date has considered the mere practice of Cayman Islands law abroad to be a criminal offense as you well know. It is also not supported by any case law or academic texts.

      The constant repetition of the point over and over again on every comment section on every article of even tangential connection to the financial service industry says more about your personal agenda than the substance of your point.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Really? And yet we drafted and debated and passed and enacted legislation that made it an offense. We even followed it throughout the 90’s.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Again – Cayman statute cannot (without very clear language that it intended to do do) make the actions of someone in another jurisdiction a criminal offense.

          Cayman authorities have no jurisdiction to criminalize actions out side the borders.

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          • Anonymous says:

            And so the proceeds of crime can still be deposited in our banks? Just because WE say it is a crime, means nothing? I suppose, you call yourself an officer of the court while pocketing such questionable gains?

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            • Anonymous says:

              You really don’t get it.

              It is not a crime if it is not a crime in the jurisdiction it occurs.

              Just as putting money into a Cayman bank account you won at the Atlantis casino in Bahamas isn’t a crime simply because Cayman doesn’t allow gambling.

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        • Anonymous says:

          It has been in force since the Legal Practitioners Law 1969, but yet complete disregard for section 10(1) to present day.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Not complete disregard. Throughout the 1990’s law firms made a point of recruiting and sending Caymanian lawyers to overseas offices to maintain compliance with the law. Bulgin’s predecessor, the Attorney General, confirmed practicing certificates were required to practice Cayman Law in Hong Kong. It is recorded in the hansards. The Hong Kong regulator was misled by various firms when questioned as the firms reported they were practicing English law as a way of explaining that the lawyers had no Cayman qualifications or practicing certificates. This all looks like corruption. Officers of the court? Bullshit!!!

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            • Anonymous says:

              Good insight into Cayman legal history.

              Now, it seems, the Attorney General says that nothing can be done.

              Interesting how views change over time to suit criminal exposures.

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      • Orrie Merren 🙏🏻🇰🇾 says:

        7:41 pm — In Drafting Cayman Islands Trusts (2006, Kluwer Law International) at pp.8-9, when commenting on the offence under s.10(1) Legal Practitioners Law (specifically in the context of drafting trusts governed by Cayman law), James Kessler QC (now KC) and Tony Pursall states, inter alia, that:

        “The expression ‘any instrument relating to movable or immovable property’ clearly covers the drafting of any trust. The territorial limitations of the offence are not expressly stated and are not clear…The only safe course of action, therefore, is to assume that the offence applies in relation to any document governed by Cayman Islands law.

        On that basis, it is a criminal offence for a firm of accountants; a trust company (in Cayman or anywhere else) or a lawyer admitted in another jurisdiction (who is not also admitted in the Cayman Islands) to draft a trust governed by Cayman Islands law. This is so even if the work is done by an employee of the firm who is himself a Cayman Islands attorney; for it is the firm which supplies the service and receives the reward…

        Interesting questions arise where the law is broken…What would be the attitude of the regulatory bodies? Clearly, the penalty for breaking the attorney’s monopoly may extend further than the maximum statutory penalty, a fine of CI$200.”

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        • Anonymous says:

          Contrary to Halbury’s Laws , case law, and the cannons of statutory interpretation.

          Also to good sense.

          Copying and pasting this into each thread doesn’t change that.

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          • Anonymous says:

            My God, you ignorance of Cayman Law, and the whole legislative framework including as to Caymanian protection developed in the late 60’s and early ‘70’s is near absolute.

            Halsbury’s is an abbreviation of a fuller title. You left out the “Laws of England and Wales” bit. Was that intentional?

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            • Anonymous says:

              Classic comment.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Halsburys includes explicit commentary on the legal position in British Overseas Territories including specific reference to and support for the point.

              If you aren’t aware of that fact then it’s a little ironic to claim “you ignorance of Cayman law” in my direction.

              I sincerely hope you’re not practicing if you’re incapable of reading past a title.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you Orrie. Now that would make the monies earned in consequence the proceeds of crime under our AML legislation, would it not?

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          • Anonymous says:

            That is correct. So, for example, if illegal profits from unauthorized practice of Cayman law, whether domestically or internationally, are deposited into a bank account, then that amounts to the proceeds of crime (ie, criminal property) tainting the formal-legal monetary system and, therefore, can attract money laundering offences (under the Proceeds of Act).

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            • Anonymous says:

              Only if you assume that the practice elsewhere is a crime within the jurisdiction it occurs in.

              How do you think that it is that multiple entities established in Cayman legally invest into gambling elsewhere where it is legal without it falling foul of the POCA?

              Unless you think all Cayman laws apply everywhere globally…

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              • Anonymous says:

                I am fairly confident it is an offence to practice the law of any jurisdiction in Hong Kong (for example) without being authorized and licensed to do so. Pretending to practice English Law while practicing Cayman Law dos not alleviate the issue. I wonder how the insurers feel about the unqualified practice? That must add some exposure!

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                • Anonymous says:

                  Kaboom 💥

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                • Anonymous says:

                  Perhaps. Please cite the HK statute on the point.

                  Insurance is an entirely separate issue from the one being made here, but a fair point nonetheless.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    I am sorry but am not a Hong Kong Qualified, admitted and practicing lawyer. My training and knowledge, as well as my licensing, restrict me to opining on the laws of England, Wales, and the Cayman Islands. Perhaps you can ask a Hong Kong lawyer, but please, not one that is unlawfully practicing Cayman Law.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you know of a breach then report it.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Have done so. Repeatedly. It has been the subject of open public discussion including in the LA. Like stolen pension monies, corrupt status grants, and trading on 7mile beach, some things get ignored, no matter how much they are reported or how available the evidence is.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Any partner in a Cayman Islands law firm, which has attachment to illegal overseas practice of Cayman law, would have a fiduciary duty to report such breach (whether intentional or accidental), would they not?

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            • Anonymous says:

              Tried that. Career ending. Next suggestion?

              By the way, any pretense of the rule of law around here, is an illusion. There is no mechanism to safely report anything, to anyone. Nothing can ever compensate for the damage caused to those who tried to uphold their oaths and legal commitments. Commercial avarice destroyed a formerly noble and honorable profession. In plain sight.

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              • Anonymous says:

                Unfortunately, I am starting to see that truth more and more, which is saddening.

                However, that should give even more resolve to to the right thing.

              • Anonymous says:

                That does not speak positive about Cayman law firms, which fall in this category.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Cayman Law firms? There are now almost none. The strings are pulled by unqualified foreigners in other countries, all under the disinterested gaze of regulators, who refuse to do their jobs.

          • Anonymous says:

            Some attorneys are considering reporting.

            Some attorneys, however, are scared of being blackballed by powerful law firms in the Cayman Islands.

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          • Anonymous says:

            LOL

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh yes, to the mute underwriter who now chairs CFATF? Is McKeeva the new MLRO? Don’t laugh.

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        • Anonymous says:

          “There is a presumption that the legislation of the legislature of a British overseas territory is to be interpreted as having only local application (see Macleod v A-G for New South Wales [1891] AC 455, PC; R v Lander [1919] NZLR 305, NZ SC).

          This presumption is STRONGER than the ordinary presumption applicable to the enactments of the United Kingdom and other non-dependent legislatures (see R v Foster, ex p Eastern and Australian Steamship Co Ltd (1959) 103 CLR 256 at 274, Aust HC, per Dixon CJ).

          Indeed, there can be said to be a rule that, in the absence of authority expressly conferred for that purpose, the legislatures of British overseas territories are incompetent to legislate with extra-territorial effect (see Macleod v A-G for New South Wales).”

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          • Anonymous says:

            Now who’s copying and pasting content from previous comments?

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            • Anonymous says:

              If I’m replying to the same spam on multiple threads, yes, you may find the same citations funnily enough.

              Probably better for others to simply avoid posting legally incorrect ramblings, but I’m not holding my breath.

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            • Anonymous says:

              🎯

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          • Anonymous says:

            Where is your reference to Cayman Islands law? We’re still dealing with Cayman Islands law, right?

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            • Anonymous says:

              I’m sorry – are you serious?

              You are under the impression the cases cited have no weight under Cayman law?

              I wasn’t aware that Cayman courts have been entirely off base for decades in referring to and relying on case law from the English and broader commonwealth legal systems!

              Ultimately, the cases are merely illustrative of the broader and relatively universal point. Under classic rules of statutory interpretation, criminal offenses stop at the water’s edge. Happy to drag up authorities from other jurisdictions if that helps… but in truth, I suspect that most simply don’t want that conclusion.

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          • Anonymous says:

            So, do you not think it appropriate that officers of the Court invite their regulator, the Chief Justice, to issue guidance before embarking on a voyage that close to the edge? This is not an issue of arguing a point for a client. This is an issue of officers of the court doing and appearing to do the right thing. There is no middle ground. If you have to argue an issue like this, you are already in breach of your obligations as an officer of the court. “Screw you, and your petty local rules – you can’t catch me” is frankly unbecoming a member of any profession.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Tell them, my friend.

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            • Anonymous says:

              You misunderstand.

              I am not making an argument about the moral merits of the practice of Cayman law elsewhere without admission. I fully agree that it shouldn’t be allowed.

              I am making the point that the constant argument on all these threads that it is a criminal offense is wrong as a matter of law, and that what is or is not becoming is irrelevant to that.

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