Justice minister attends CFATF meeting

POSTED: 11/30/14 10:59 PM

St. Maarten –  Justice Minister Dennis Richardson is currently in San Salvador, El Salvador, attending the Plenary and Ministerial meetings of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) which began on November 23 and will continue through to November 27.

The CFATF is an organization of states and territories of the Caribbean Basin which have agreed to implement common counter-measures against money laundering and financing of terrorism. “Country St. Maarten is committed to the global anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism fight.  We have taken a number of measures and have the legislation in place as well as pending legislation along with the necessary institutions such as the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which plays a key role in this global effort.

“St. Maarten has a responsibility just like other countries in the region, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the world over in protecting regional and international financial systems from transnational organized crime and those who engage in terrorism and financing that promotes illegal activities of this nature. With all countries working together, we will be successful in our quest to combat the aforementioned crimes because failure is not an option,” Minister Richardson said on Tuesday from San Salvador.

The Task Force was established as a result of two key meetings convened in Aruba and in Jamaica in the early 1990s. In November 1996, 21 members of the CFATF entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which now serves as the basis for the goals and the work of the CFATF. In the MoU, CFATF members agree to adopt and implement the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; endorse and implement the FATF Forty Recommendations and the CFATF Nineteen Recommendations; fulfill the obligations expressed in the Kingston Declaration as well as, where applicable, in the Plan of Action of the Summit of the Americas; and to adopt and implement any other measures for the prevention and control of the laundering of the proceeds of all serious crimes as defined by the laws of each Member.

St. Maarten is a member of CFATF and has been an active participant in various meetings organized by the aforementioned organization. Based on the progress made until now, St. Maarten’s FIU has been admitted to the renowned so-called Egmont Group as well. Head of St. Maarten’s FIU Ligia Stella is also attending the deliberations in El Salvador.

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