The government has taken further steps to strengthen its standing with global tax watchdogs by providing financial investigation accreditation training for more than two dozen law enforcement officers, with help from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).
The training is also a part of the government’s efforts to strengthen the Financial Intelligence Unit.
Earlier this year, The Bahamas was added to a European Commission list due to “strategic deficiencies” in its anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorism financing (CTF) legislation.
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said the training of the officers will help satisfy the requirements of the European Commission and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to reduce the level of threat The Bahamas is believed to pose.
“Coming out of that as a government, we spent a considerable amount of time and effort amending legislation having to do with AML/CTF, to ensure that we were in a better place. I’m happy to report that it was found that The Bahamas is highly compliant on 18 of the recommendations and 21 partially compliant, and I believe there was one that was non-compliant,” Dames said at an opening ceremony for the training seminar on Monday.
“So a complete turnaround from where we were when we first came into office and I believe as a result of the efforts of our government in recognizing how important it was to do what was necessary to keep us off of that blacklist, I’m happy to report that our efforts are beginning to pay off in many ways.”
The Bahamas was placed on the FATF watch list in October 2018, when it only satisfied 17 of the required 40 FATF criteria.
However by the end of 2018, The Bahamas was essentially compliant with 30 of the 40 requirements, a record similar to the United States.
“It is extremely critical for us to understand that we are a part of a global village and must work hand-in-hand to ensure that we’re always steps ahead of those who are seeking to use our systems to benefit themselves and to reign terror throughout the globe,” Dames said.
The officers that participated in the training are primarily from the Anti-Corruption Branch and Financial Crime Unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News