Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 19, 2008 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis, which undergoes its second mutual assessment by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in September, has reconvened meetings of the Local Financial Task Force.
The Federation’s Financial Secretary, Mrs. Janet Harris said the assessment will be carried out in September this year and the local committee has been mandated to analyze and review the Federation’s legal, regulatory and enforcement frameworks where Anti-Money Laundering “AML” and the Counter Financing of Terrorism “CFT” are concerned.
The Task Force was first established to address deficiencies within the Federation’s AML/CFT regime, which led to its black listing. This body is comprised of key officials in the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration, whose departments play a major role in detecting and deterring money laundering and terrorist financing.
In an effort to prepare the Federation for its upcoming assessment, Ms I. Fidela Clarke, Director General/Regulator, Financial Services Regulatory Department, St. Kitts and a Financial Expert, Ms. I. Fidela Clarke; Parliamentary Counsel, Attorney General’s Office and Legal Expert, Miss Karen Hughes; Miss Heidi-Lynn Sutton, a Legal Expert and Senior Crown Counsel, Legal Unit, Nevis Island Administration, Miss Heidi-Lynn Sutton and Director Financial Intelligence Unit and Law Enforcement Expert, Mrs. Jacqueline Somersall-Berry, task force members were recently trained to be Mutual Evaluation Examiners by the CFATF.
“The training of these individuals will place the Federation in the advantageous position of being able to determine how to effectively implement a proper AML/CFT legal, regulatory and enforcement regime as well as to determine what systems need to be improved in order to obtain “compliant” ratings from examiners when our AML/CFT framework is measured against the FATF’s 40 plus 9 recommendations,” said Mrs. Harris.
She pointed out that the FATF is recognized as one of the most important catalysts in the world for establishing standards to identify and prevent instances of money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Local Task Force has embarked on an aggressive public awareness campaign to sensitise all stakeholders including the general public.
The Financial Secretary said that the Federal Government is soliciting the support of all in its efforts to comply with international standards in order to ensure that its financial systems are not at risk where money laundering and terrorist financing are concerned.