‘No evidence’ of terrorism financing

  • David Burt, the Premier, with Cheryl Lister, chairwoman of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    David Burt, the Premier, with Cheryl Lister, chairwoman of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A review of the threat of dirty money damaging Bermuda’s reputation found “no evidence” of terrorism financing, the Premier said yesterday.

However, David Burt added money laundering from the drugs trade presented the most serious threat to Bermuda.

The news came as Mr Burt unveiled the island’s first public review of money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks to the island.

Mr Burt said that donations to charities are regarded as high-risk elsewhere in the world but the threat through island charities was assessed as “medium”.

The report was issued in the run-up to an assessment of the island’s ability to combat financial crime by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force scheduled for September.

Mr Burt said regulation of the island’s betting sector “has been transferred to the Casino Gaming Commission”.

He was speaking after an article in yesterday’s edition of The Royal Gazette.

The article reported that Richard Schuetz, the former chief executive officer of the commission, highlighted “glaring deficiencies” in the regulation of local betting shops when he resigned from the body in July 2017.

Mr Burt said he could not comment on the report’s findings on the betting sector.

He added: “I find it rich that Mr Schuetz would say there is no regulation of betting shops, when their department refused to regulate betting shops. That has now been done.”

The report said crimes that presented a “high threat” of money laundering in Bermuda included offences outside the jurisdiction such as “international tax crimes, market manipulation, international fraud and external corruption or bribery”.

The report added that the sectors most vulnerable to money laundering were “those whose products and services have the highest risk of being used by people committing the high- threat crimes, which would include banks, companies in the securities sector and businesses such as law firms and corporate service providers”.

Mr Burt added that regulated industries must be informed of risks and had been asked to develop countermeasures.

He said: “Every Bermudian should take the time to recognise these risks because they can impact the companies in which they work or the requirements imposed on them by regulated companies.

“Bermuda has a reputation for being well regulated, transparent and co-operative. Our goal is to maintain that reputation which is an important part of our strategy for greater economic growth and more jobs for Bermudians.”

To read the Public NRA Report in full, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”

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Published May 17, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated May 17, 2018 at 5:15 pm)

‘No evidence’ of terrorism financing

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