Parliamentarians yesterday passed bills to further safeguard the financial services sector – the Anti-Terrorism Amendment Bill, 2019 and the International Obligations (Economic and Ancillary Measures) Amendment Bill, 2019.
The first bill stipulates that a financial institution must make a report to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) where there is a reasonable suspicion that funds maintained by it are those belonging to a person who commits acts of proliferation or participates in or facilitates the commission of proliferation acts, or the financing of proliferation.
Proliferation is defined as the development, production, spread, distribution, stockpile retention or transfer of weapons of mass destruction.
It also provides for a national identified risk framework (IRF) coordinator, that would work with an IRF steering committee to publish information regarding a designated person or entity, and request from the general public and financial institutions financial information about the persons and entities named on a list.
The International Obligations (Economic and Ancillary Measures) Amendment Bill, 2019 provides for the immediate effect in law of any United Nations Security Council resolution which imposes a sanction. It also provides for the implementation of a unilateral sanction issued by a foreign state against another foreign state.
These bills are a part of the government’s efforts to improve the country’s anti-money laundering / combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
The Bahamas is seeking to be removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list by early 2020.