Minister Ebanks Leads Cayman’s AML Delegation to Nicaragua
A Government delegation led by the Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, the Hon. André Ebanks, will update a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review group regarding how the Cayman Islands has improved its effectiveness in fighting financial crimes.
The Cayman delegation will engage with the Americas Joint Group (Joint Group), a sub-working group of the FATF’s International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG), during a face-to-face meeting on Thursday, 8 September, in Nicaragua.
The face-to-face meeting is part of the process for being removed from the list of jurisdictions that FATF is monitoring for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies.
A total of five jurisdictions within the Americas are meeting with the Joint Group. Four of these jurisdictions (including the Cayman Islands) are members of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), which supports the FATF’s work in the Caribbean region.
The Cayman Islands’ AML/CFT regime is overseen by the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group (AMLSG), which is chaired by the Attorney General, the Hon. Samuel Bulgin, QC. The Chief Officer in the Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce is the AMLSG’s deputy chair; and the delegation to Nicaragua includes representatives from six public agencies.
The Cayman Islands was placed on FATF’s list in February 2021, after successfully completing 60 of 63 actions recommended by the CFATF in its March 2019 report on the Cayman Islands’ AML/CFT regime. It continues to make steady progress in addressing the three remaining recommended actions that resulted in its listing.
One recommended action, regarding effective sanctions by CIMA, was satisfied in June 2021. The remaining two recommended actions are in relation to beneficial ownership; and money laundering investigations and prosecutions.
On beneficial ownership, representatives from the Ministry, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, and the Registrar of Companies will update the Joint Group. On anti-money laundering prosecutions, the Joint Group will be updated by representatives from the Cayman Islands Bureau of Financial Investigations and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Representatives from the Anti-Money Laundering Unit within the Attorney General’s Chambers complete the delegation.
The Joint Group will report its findings from the review process through the ICRG to the FATF for decision during the FATF Plenary in October. At the end of the plenary, the FATF will make a public statement on the status of jurisdictions on its monitoring list.
Issued by: Minister for Financial Services & Commerce (CIG)