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Article: Professionals now under money laundering provisions

November 24, 2013

NEW orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) covering financial transactions by nonfinancial businesses and professionals will become effective April 1, 2014.

Orders affecting real estate dealers, casino and gaming machine operators and public accountants will come into effect on April 1, while that affecting attorneys-at-law becomes effective June 1. They were approved by the House of Representatives last Tuesday, and were piloted by Minister of National Security Peter Bunting.

Bunting said that following upon the amendments to the POCA, passed by the House in October, which placed a $1-million limit on cash transactions with financial institutions, the Government has determined that certain sectors, outside of the traditional financial sector, in keeping with international requirements and trends, should be subjected to antimoney laundering measures, as well.

“The reason for this is that criminals often need to use the services of these professions and others to launder their illicit cash. As a consequence, having these professionals being subjected to anti-money laundering measures is, in our view, a strong deterrent to launderers, and should also assist law enforcement in tracking assets, where these professionals make the required disclosures under law,” he explained.

He said that the orders are in keeping with agreed timelines between the Government and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.

Leader of Opposition Business in the House Derrick Smith, said that the Opposition agreed with the orders.

“This is really serious business, notwithstanding the fact that most of these orders are scheduled to be implemented on All Fool’s Day next year,” Smith quipped.

“We do hope that when these orders are implemented, that the country can be assured that there will be improved management and minimising of the proceeds of criminal activities in this country, which should lend itself to some sort of a decline in crime, overall,” added Smith, who is also the Opposition spokesman on national security. The competent authorities for the non-financial businesses and professions are: the General Legal Council; Public Accountancy Board; Real Estate Board; Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission; and the Casino Gaming Commission.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Professionals-now-under-money-laundering-provisions#ixzz2mMctVSMh