ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi says from 2012, $90 million worth of suspicious transactions by religious organisations has been flagged.
He was piloting the Non-Profit Organisations Bill in the House yesterday.
He said from the Financial Intelligence Unit in 2012 there was information on suspicious activity of $11.3 million from a religious organisation, but “fortunately” nothing in 2013 or 2014.
He reported in 2015 there was $74.2 million from a religious organisation, about US$13,000 in 2016, in 2017, about $1.3 million, in 2018, $72,000, again by a religious institution, and in the following period approximately $2.7 million.
“So we have seen suspicious transactions...2012 to 2018 coming out of religious organisations, operations for charitable purpose, flagged by other jurisdictions and I can tell you that the cumulative value is approximately $90 million.”
He said the Financial Investigations Branch statistics show, currently, there are five reports of terrorist financing and three reports on money laundering.
Al-Rawi said, in one year, Government had spent $205 million on non-profit organisations – a total of 135. He said there were more 8,500 known non-profit enterprises and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said a risk assessment needed to be done to determine the risk for terrorist financing.
He said members of the Islamic community had expressed concerns to him that there might be a prejudice against Islamic organisations sending zakaat (charity) abroad, but the bill would provide protection for charitable purposes and said, in Canada, one organisation that was treated as a terrorist group was supported by the UK and Prince Charles.
The bill, he said, was one of the last pieces of the puzzle to be put into place as TT approached a joint group face-to-face review of the assessors from the FATF and a meeting to be held from April 23-25.