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Minister issues advisory about risky jurisdictions

Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform (File photograph)

Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform, has issued an advisory about the risks in a number of jurisdictions arising from inadequate systems and controls to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

In February, the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental body established by the Group of Seven in 1989, published two statements identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism regimes.

The G7 is an intergovernmental political and economic forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States; additionally, the European Union is a non-enumerated member.

The FATF also called on jurisdictions to be vigilant regarding potential risks to the international financial system, including growing financial connectivity of Russia with countries subject to FATF countermeasures, risks of proliferation financing, and malicious cyber activities and ransomware attacks.

The advisory in Bermuda has been issued in response to the latest FATF statements.

In relation to North Korea, Iran and Burma, the minister advises the regulated sector and relevant persons to “consider as a high risk and apply countermeasures and enhanced due-diligence measures in accordance with the risks”.

In relation to 21 other jurisdictions, the minister advises the regulated sector and relevant persons to “take appropriate actions to minimise the associated risks, which may include enhanced due-diligence measures in high-risk situations”.

The jurisdictions to which the latter advice applies are Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, Vietnam and Yemen.

The Proceeds of Crime (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing) Regulations 2008 require the Bermuda regulated sector and relevant persons to apply enhanced customer due diligence to high-risk countries.

They require that a relevant person must apply on a risk-sensitive basis enhanced customer due-diligence measures to business relationships with customers in instances where a person or a transaction is from or in a country that has been identified as having a higher risk by the FATF or the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.

They also require a relevant person to apply, on a risk-sensitive basis, enhanced customer due diligence in instances where a person or transaction is from or in a country which represents a higher risk of money laundering, corruption, terrorist financing or being subject to international sanctions.

The advisory applies to all entities and persons subject to the POCA Regulations: AML/AFT regulated financial institutions; independent professionals; casino operators; dealers in high value goods, who are registered with the Financial Intelligence Agency; and real estate brokers and real estate agents.

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Published April 02, 2024 at 5:21 pm (Updated April 02, 2024 at 7:48 pm)

Minister issues advisory about risky jurisdictions

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