While speaking at the 8th Annual Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/ Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Conference hosted by the Jamaica Banker's Association and the Jamaica Institute of Financial Services, the Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke emphasised GOJ's commitment to tabling necessary legislation to ensure that Jamaica continues to meet global standards regarding AML and CFT.
Minister Clarke explained that legislation to be tabled includes amendments to The Proceeds of Crime Act and regulations to provide for simplified, risk-based due diligence measures and measures for dealing with high risk countries. The Minister said "We know that one of the major complaints we get among the unbanked is that the procedures that one has to fulfil to open, operate and maintain a bank account pose a high burden and a high barrier to entry to many people. With the revised POCA, that we expect to table in Parliament, that will take a risk-based approach to due diligence and to Know-Your-Customer regulations so persons who are low risk should find it easier to open, operate and maintain bank accounts."
The Finance Minister further stated that The Terrorist Prevention Act and Regulations are being amended to deal with targeted financial sanctions (i.e. freezing of assets), foreign terrorist fighters, and procedures for complying and implementing certain UN Security Council designations.
In addition, The United Nations Security Council Resolution (Implementation) Act is to flesh out the reporting and compliance obligations under that Act and to bring Jamaica's laws in compliance with our international treaty obligations.
The Minister said, "This mix of legislative changes will also strengthen Jamaica's anti-corruption framework and empower law enforcement to stifle the ability of those who are inclined to profit from organized crime, so that they have no access to our financial system, as well as build our law enforcement authorities' capacity to deal with these cases professionally, confidentially and thoroughly.
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet