[UPDATED] TT off FATF ‘grey list’

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.

TT is officially off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) “grey list.”

In a notice on its website and Twitter page on Friday, the task force designated TT as a “jurisdiction no longer subject to monitoring.

“The FATF welcomes Trinidad and Tobago’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism) regime.”

The task force said it notes that TT has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime. The country has also been praised for meeting the commitments in its action plan regarding deficiencies identified by the task force in November 2017.

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said he was pleased with decision after “four years of hard work reversing a tragedy.”

Al-Rawi, who is in Paris, France to attend the task force’s plenary meeting, told Newsday briefly in a phone interview that the country was praised by FATF president and other countries who recognised this country’s work at improving the country’s legislative strength regarding its financial sector.

This, he added, “not withstanding a lack of support from the Opposition” for several of the Government’s proposals and amendments to legislation, including tax compliance.

In a statement, the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs outlined “concrete outcomes” led by the AG that were instrumental in reform, including:

•Expanded measures for civil forfeiture and confiscation with the introduction of novel legislation to take the profit out of crime by utilising unexplained wealth orders

• Established specialist financial prosecutorial and investigative units in the Office of the DPP and the police service for early and joint collaboration on financial crimes

• Increased additional resources to the Compliance division of the Financial Intelligence Unit by 69 per cent

• Improved the judicial complement of the Judiciary by 70 per cent

• Implemented a beneficial ownership information register for all companies and non-profit organisations in the Registrar General’s department along with a 300 per cent increase in human resources

• Implemented on-going monitoring for ensuring compliance on financial sanctions relative to terrorism financing and proliferation financing, achieving 116 court orders to date.

“Through these reforms and the Attorney General’s mandatory and active participation at three annual FATF plenary meetings and bi-annual CFATF (Caribbean) plenary meetings, as well as periodic attendance at face to face meetings with the FATF, Trinidad and Tobago was able to demonstrate continuous improvement in 22 areas of evaluation,” the ministry said.

“Overall the process was intense and required diligent involvement with rewarding deliverables by the country.”

This story was originally published with the title "TT no longer under increased FATF monitoring" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

After "four years of hard work reversing a tragedy," Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi is pleased with the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) announcement Friday that TT is no longer subject to the agency's increased monitoring process.

Al-Rawi, who is out of the country, told Newsday briefly that the country came in for open praise from the FATF president and other countries who recognised this country's work to improving the country's legislative strength regarding its financial sector, notably anti-money laundering/counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

This, he added, "not withstanding a lack of support from the Opposition" for several of the Government's proposals and amendments to legislation, including tax compliance.

In a notice on its website and Twitter page on Friday, the FATF designated TT as a "jurisdiction no longer subject to monitoring.

"The FATF welcomes Trinidad and Tobago’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Trinidad and Tobago has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed related technical deficiencies to meet the commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in November 2017. Trinidad and Tobago is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. Trinidad and Tobago will continue to work with CFATF to improve further its AML/CFT regime."

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"[UPDATED] TT off FATF ‘grey list’"

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