National Security Minister Edmund Dillon has declared that Government will never allow the country’s financial system to be the lifeblood of crime.
Dillon made this declaration during his contribution to debate on the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, Proceeds of Crime, FIU of TT, Customs and Exchange Contro) Bill 2017 in the House of Representatives on Friday.
He said under the People’s National Movement, more robust anti-money laundering measures have been and are being put in place. Dillon said TT is partnering with several other countries to deal with the global problem of money laundering and terrorist financing. Dillon said Government is moving to amend legislation to treat with issues, “across our international security environment.”
According to Dillon, white collar crime has reached epidemic levels and Government is addressing the issue head on. Naparima MP Rodney Charles claimed a report from the OECD said TT was the only one out of 147 to be classified a non-compliant. Charles was cautioned by Speaker of the House of Representatives Bridgid Annisette-George about being anticipatory regarding the TT Revenue Authority.
She told Charles no such legislation is currently before the Parliament. Opposition Whipe David Lee claimed many of the anti-money laundering initiatives now in train were started by the former People’s Partnership government. Barataria/San Juan MP Dr Fuad Khan claimed the bill would “shut down the economy” as people would take their assets out of TT. The bill was subsequently passed by the House without amendment.