Financial Intelligence Unit gives presentation on supervisory powers

POSTED: 08/9/13 1:22 PM
Head of FIU Curacao, Kenneth Dambruck. Photo contributed

St. Maarten – The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Curacao gave its office on St. Maarten a presentation on the essence of an FIU with supervisory powers. Both FIU St. Maarten and FIU Curacao fall under this type of unit.

During the presentation other projects of mutual interest were also touched upon. The day before, on July 30, FIU Curacao signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FIU of St. Maarten. This memorandum makes it possible to exchange information regarding money laundering and possible terrorism financing between the two units.

Director of FIU St. Maarten, Ligia Stella, said that she is pleased with the assistance extended and the cooperation received from the sister organization. “Not only are we sharing information about financial transactions that are in investigation by our FIUs and in which persons (natural and legal) of both jurisdictions are involved, but we are also working closely together on different projects.”

The FIU of St. Maarten, an organization that falls under the Justice Ministry, is a national center for the receiving and the analysis of unusual transactions reports and the dissemination to the Public Prosecutors Office of these transactions when there is a suspicion of money laundering and/or terrorism financing.

“Since the establishment of FIU St. Maarten, we have been working diligently on operational efficiency and administrative procedures in reporting illegal financial transactions and very importantly in becoming a member of the International Association of FIUs, the Egmont Group. This is an obligation laid down by the Financial Action Task Force, FATF,” Stella said.

“With the advancements that we have made, we are ever increasing our knowledge and working in collaboration with our sister islands Aruba and Curacao but also with regional and international FIUs.”

In light of this, Head of FIU Curacao, Kenneth Dambruck, provided a presentation on the essence of being an FIU with supervisory powers and of the current and future projects that their office is engaged in. The presentation was made to FIU St. Maarten director and staff.

Dambruck explained, from their point of view as a supervisory entity for the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions, (DNFBP), the current developments in the field, certain incidents to be aware of, and future steps that need to be taken in order to secure and safe guard the financial systems and financial integrity of the respective countries.  In his presentation Dambruck gave an indication of what needs to be taken into account when supervising the DNFBP i.e. notaries, lawyers, accountants, tax consultants, car dealers, real estate agencies, jewelers and administrative offices, their reporting obligations and moreover, the consequences when they do not report.

Dambruck explained that just like the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten is the supervisory entity for the financial sector, the FIUs of St. Maarten and Curacao are the legal supervisory authorities of the afore-mentioned non-financial sector, with the accompanying authority to apply administrative fines and financial penalties, order searches, etc. upon non-compliance with the relevant laws.

During the last Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) evaluations of FIU St. Maarten and FIU Curacao with regard to their compliance with the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the issue of effectiveness was brought forward. This effectiveness in the supervision of reporting entities is strictly interpreted by CFATF as meaning: applying sanctions upon non-compliance by reporting entities.

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