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Senate: Money laundering bill passes

Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney General (File photograph)

The final piece of legislation in a raft of new safeguards to protect Bermuda from money laundering and terrorist funding was passed in the Senate today.

Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, said the Bermuda Bar Amendment Act “further enhances Bermuda’s compliance with international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force”.

She added: “The general purposes of the bill are to amend the Bermuda Bar Act 1974, the principle act, for the purpose of further mitigating and managing the risk of Bermuda to money laundering and terrorist financing in the legal sector.

“The bill also makes consequential amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Supervision and Enforcement Act 2008 and the Supreme Court Act 1905.”

Ms Simmons, who introduced the legislation, explained that the bill was “the final legislative initiative in the AML/ATF suite designed to enhance Bermuda’s AML/ATF compliance”.

Senators and MPs had previously passed a series of changes to laws designed to address matters “pertinent to Bermuda’s compliance with international standards”.

The changes came ahead of an assessment of the island’s AML/ATF regime by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.

Ms Simmons explained that the assessment had begun, with a team due to visit Bermuda for two weeks in September to complete the on-site portion of the assessment.

She added: “The bill closes gaps identified during the national risk assessment in relation to Bermuda’s technical compliance with FATF recommendations as to admission to the legal profession, disciplinary action in relation to not just AML/ATF compliance but also as to compliance with supervisory functions.”

The legislation will now go to the House of Assembly for approval by MPs.