The government is moving to review the Proceeds of Crime Act and Terrorism Prevention Act to strengthen legislation to deal with money laundering.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica cannot afford to be seen as a weak link in the chain of international efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. “We must therefore have a robust anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism regime in place to prevent criminals from benefiting from the proceeds of their crime,” he said. Prime Minister Holness was addressing bankers at the 5th Annual Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Financing of Terrorism conference at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel this morning (Monday, October 10).
Mr Holness stated that taking the profit out of crime is one of the foremost measures for the government to combat the crime problem, adding: “You will note that this is also more recently underscored by the recommendations of the Economic Growth Council. Indeed an early action of this government was for Cabinet to approve the national risk assessment on money laundering and financing of terrorism in May 2016”.
The prime minister noted that whilst the majority of persons use financial services for entirely legitimate purposes, there are those who try to use it for criminal enterprise. He said the challenge for everyone, whether in the banking system, commerce or industry is how to build a system that detects and deter criminal use of our financial system.
“For an anti-money laundering counter financing regime to be sound cooperation and collaboration is not an option, but a vital requirement,” asserted Prime Minister Holness.
Mr Holness urged the bankers to collectively maintain focus and continue to share ideas on solutions to issues. According to him, with a unified approach, the country will continue to protect and promote its financial resilience.