Bahamas to host Caribbean Financial Action Task Force meeting
The Bahamas will be hosting the 38th Plenary Meeting of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in Freeport, Grand Bahama, from November 18-21, 2013.
The CFATF is an organisation of 29 states in the Caribbean basin that have agreed to implement common counter measures to address the problem of money laundering. The main objective of the CFATF is to achieve effective implementation of and compliance with the Financial Action Task Force’s 40 Recommendations to prevent money laundering and to combat the financing of terrorism.
Currently, CFATF members include Anguilla, Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and Venezuela.
Money laundering is growing rapidly and constantly changing due to technological advances. For more than two decades, the CFATF has been conducting a number of typology exercises on money laundering with the aim of increasing awareness of the attendant risks to the region. These exercises allow for sharing of information collected by various bodies involved in combating money laundering.
In November 2012, The Bahamas assumed the position of deputy chair of the CFATF and subsequently this jurisdiction, through the Office of the Attorney General.
The Bahamas last led the CFATF in 2002 under the chairmanship of Alfred Sears, who served as attorney-general at that time. It should be noted that hosting the CFATF plenary meeting occurs only once every ten years. Therefore, this event provides The Bahamas with a unique opportunity to showcase its second city Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Although the CFATF’s deliberations are closed to the general public, Bahamian officials from various government ministries, non-government organisations (NGOs) and invited guests will be able to witness and enjoy the opening ceremony and planned social events. The prime minister of The Bahamas, Perry Christie, is expected to be the keynote speaker and to officially open the meeting.
This CFATF plenary meeting is expected to have more than 200 regional and international delegates in attendance. Additionally, the meeting will afford The Bahamas an excellent opportunity to demonstrate its steadfast commitment to cooperation in advancing internationally accepted standards of excellence, best practices and compliance with its anti-money laundering obligations.
Presently, the CFATF is an associate member of FATF and, at the June 2011 plenary, the CFATF was commended by the FATF for the speed with which the CFATF moved to develop its action plan to reform it. COSUNS also openly offered their encouragement and support to CFATF Secretariat and member countries.
The current chair of the CFATF is Cherno Jallow QC, director of policy research and statistics, British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission, who will pass the baton of leadership to Senator Allison Maynard-Gibson, attorney general of The Bahamas.