Purpose : To bring together all national stakeholders to contribute the development and formulation of AM/CFT recommendations for policy, legislation, reforms and implementation of action plans.
The Committee consist of:- Director, (AML/CFT) Unit, Ministry of National Security (Chair) Senior Legal Advisor to the Attorney General (Deputy Chairperson) The Director of Public Prosecutions The Commissioner of Police
The Chief Immigration Officer -Ministry of National Security The Comptroller of Customs and Excise The Deputy Permanent Secretary - Ministry of Finance The Head, Financial Intelligence Unit- Ministry of Finance
The Head, Financial Investigations Branch-Ministry of National Security The Head, Central Authority Unit, Office of the Attorney General The Legal Adviser to the Minister of Justice
Representatives of each of the following: The Legislative Drafting Department The Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago
What is Money Laundering? Money laundering involves taking criminal proceeds and disguising their illegal source.
Simply put, money laundering is the process of making dirty money look clean. Money laundering often involves a complex series of transactions that are usually difficult to separate.
Three Stages in the Money Laundering Cycle Stage 1 Placement The physical disposal of cash or assets derived from criminal activity.
This phase can involve transactions such as: Breaking up large amounts of cash into smaller sums and depositing them directly into a bank account. Transporting cash across borders to deposit in foreign financial institutions, or to buy high- value goods — such as artwork, antiques, and precious metals and stones — that can then be resold for payment by check or bank transfer.
Stage 2 Layering Involves the separation of illicit proceeds from their source by layers of financial transactions intended to conceal the origin of the proceeds.
Transactions within this phase: Sending wire transfers of funds from one account to another, Converting deposited cash into monetary instruments (e.g. traveler’s checks). Reselling high-value goods and prepaid access/stored value products. Investing in real estate and legitimate businesses. Placing money in investments such as stocks, bonds or life insurance
Stage 3 Integration This stage entails using laundered proceeds in seemingly normal transactions to create the perception of legitimacy.
Effect of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing on the economy It destabilizes the economy and financial systems Increased crime and corruption Undermining the legitimate private sector Loss of tax revenue Reputational risk for the country Social Cost
Trinidad and Tobago Legislation on Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism
Financial Institutions and listed businesses are required to have systems in place to ensure full compliance with the provisions of the Acts.
a)The Proceeds of Crime Act Chapter 11:27 (as amended) b)The Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago Act No. 11 of 2009 (as amended) c)The Financial Obligations Regulations 2010
POCA establishes procedures for the confiscation of proceeds of crime and for the criminalising of money laundering. It also outlines the circumstances in which a financial institution and/or its employees shall be guilty of the offence of money laundering. This is dealt with in Sections 43-46
The FIU Act 2009 establishes a department, within the Ministry of Finance for the collection, analysis, dissemination and exchange of financial intelligence and information among law enforcement authorities, financial institutions and listed businesses in Trinidad and Tobago and internationally.
The Financial Obligations Regulations 2010 establishes minimum requirements to which financial institutions and listed businesses must abide to ensure that they are not used as a vehicle for money laundering.
The Anti-Terrorism Act 2005 criminalizes terrorist the financing of terrorism and introduces the procedure for the freezing of terrorist’s assets or funds.
As a consequence the suite of AML/CFT legislation ensures that Real Estate agents take certain steps to become compliant.
Definition of Real Estate under POCA Any natural or legal person, partnership or firm carrying on the business of buying, selling or leasing land and any interest in land or any, buildings thereon and appurtenances thereto.
Risk Indicators for Real Estate Agents The payment of a cash deposit under a contract and then the cancellation of the contract for no apparent reason Buyers wanting to make payment in cash Cash is being transferred by an unrelated third parties for the acquisition of the property
Core requirements that will affect real estate agents include:- customer due diligence (CDD), suspicious transaction reporting, development of a compliance program and record keeping.
Customer due diligence Real Estate agents will be required to: identify and verify clients identify beneficial ownership involving corporate clients conduct on going due diligence and transaction monitoring throughout the business relationship
Record keeping Real estate agents will be required to collect information concerning, and retain records of, their clients' identity and their on going activities.
Reporting Real estate agents will be required to make a report to the Financial Intelligence Unit if they suspect on reasonable grounds that a client is not who they claim to be or that information about a service may be relevant to tax evasion, a criminal offence, proceeds of crime or a money laundering or terrorism financing offence.
AML/CTF program Real Estate Agents will be required to develop internal AML/CTF procedures and guidelines and ensure adequate AML/CTF staff training, in accordance with section 55(5) of the Proceeds of Crime Act
Effects on Real Estate Agents of Trinidad and Tobago being BLACKLISTED
Drop in Foreigners investing in local real estate Foreign wire transfers and correspondent banking between Trinidad and Tobago will be slowed due to applied extra scrutiny,
Local banks will have to spend additional resources on scrutiny which will be passed on to the customer Non-acceptance of credit cards, foreign bank drafts, traveller cheques issued by banks within Trinidad and Tobago lowering of citizens’ current standard of living.
US banks refusing to recognise entities incorporated in Trinidad and Tobago