Most serious organised crime is about money. Therefore, tackling money laundering is an essential part of combating the threat of drug trafficking, organised crime, fraud and the financing of terrorism.
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
The Financial Intelligence Unit of the ONDCP receives, analyses and disseminates financial intelligence submitted by Financial Institutions via Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR’s) as mandated under Section 11 (i) of the Money Laundering (Prevention) Act 1996.
The unit continues to serve as the central, national Financial Intelligence agency for Antigua and Barbuda. Its main responsibility rests in the receiving (and, as permitted, requesting), analyzing and dissemination of financial information to competent authorities, particularly as it relates to the proceeds of crime, fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.
Role of F.I.U.
The role of the Financial Intelligence Unit is best described as follows:
- To add value to criminal investigations by providing intelligence on the “money trail” i.e. information that is not readily available elsewhere
- To receive mutual legal assistance requests
- To issue Guidelines to financial institutions
- To provide training to financial institutions
- To supervise the implementation of all AML / CFT laws, regulations & guidelines
Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Referrals
Financial institutions are mandated under Section 13 (2) of the Money Laundering (Prevention) Act 1996 to “upon reasonable suspicion” promptly report any financial activity or transaction that may be related to money laundering to the Supervisory Authority. See Suspicious Activity Report – Form 1.
All reports received are handled with the highest level of confidentiality and are not divulged to any third parties. Reports are thoroughly reviewed and analyzed having regards to all the facts and circumstances. Upon completion of this process and it is deemed there are sufficient grounds for further investigation, the relevant information pertaining to the case (not the SAR) is disseminated for further action.
Money Laundering & The Financing of Terrorism Guidelines for Financial Institutions (MLFTG)
Periodic Guidelines are issued by the Supervisory Authority pursuant to the Money Laundering (Prevention) Act 1996, to outline the requirements of the relevant laws of Antigua & Barbuda and to highlight international “Best Practices” in anti-money laundering trends. It is also intended to be a practical guide to AML/CFT compliance.
Combating the Financing of Terrorism
The same basic principles used to combat Money Laundering can be used to combat the Financing of Terrorism. However, under the mandates of Section 34 (3)a) of The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2005, financial institutions are required to submit quarterly Form 1a or Form 1b as appropriate.
Training to Financial Institutions
The FIU provides training to financial institutions as mandated under Section 11 (viii) of the MLPA. The methodology adopted has been in the form of:
- AML / CFT workshops – Training workshops on areas of AML / CFT structured to benefit a large cross section of financial institutions.
- Group/Sector training – Specified training to groups within a particular financial sector.
- Institutional Training – Training to individual financial institutions
- Individual Training – One on One training of Compliance Officers, Management and other reporting individuals
Training in respect to a financial institution’s obligations under the AML/CFT laws can be arranged upon a written request to the Supervisory Authority.
List of Financial Institutions
See: The Money Laundering (Prevention) (Amendment of First Schedule) Order 2009
A key element in the fight against Money Laundering and the Combating of the Financing of Terrorism lies in the establishment of constructive cooperation with other international organizations for effective counteraction. To this end, working relations have been established with the Egmont Group, CFATF, SOCA, CICTE and other regional and international FIU’s.