The National Anti-Money Laundering Unit
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) is a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Styled Regional Body (FSRB) with a membership of twenty-five (25) Caribbean and South American States, Saint Lucia being one such member. This body requires that member States implement common countermeasures to address cases of money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by implementing legislation in accordance with the revised 40 FATF Recommendations and 11 Immediate Outcomes.
The National Anti-Money Laundering Oversight Committee (NAMLOC) Unit manages all CFATF related matters. The Unit is primarily responsible for coordinating the national anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing activities of Saint Lucia. This Unit takes directives from the National Anti-money Laundering Oversight Committee, which is chaired by the Solicitor General and headed by the Honourable Attorney General.
Inter Alia, the NAMLOC Unit carries out the administrative functions of the National Anti-Money Laundering Oversight Committee (NAMLOC).
Summary of Accomplishments (2019)
In 2019, the Attorney General’s Chambers in collaboration with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) held a ‘Pre-Assessment’ training from January 28th – 30th and an ‘International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation’ training from April 8th – 10th. These training sessions saw Heads of Departments and senior level management being sensitized on the mutual evaluation process, the expectations for the on-site visit and the CFATF 40 Recommendations.
During 2019, various NAMLOC members attended various critical overseas workshops and training seminars which was offered by CFATF, World Bank and other International Organizations.
The NAMLOC also continued its outreach by convening several caucus meetings with key agencies island wide, airing an infomercial on various media platforms, publishing weekly articles in the local newspaper and placement of brochures covering money laundering and terrorist financing in various financial institutions.
Saint Lucia’s Mutual Evaluation On-site Visit
During September 16th -27th, 2019, Saint Lucia was visited by an assessment team comprising of seven (7) persons from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). The team interviewed officials from over fifty (50) public and private entities. This was necessary for a determination to be made on the level at which the country have complied with the Financial Action Task Force 40 Recommendations and 11 Immediate Outcomes. Thereafter, a first draft Mutual Evaluation Report was prepared and submitted to Saint Lucia for feedback. As per the CFATF Procedures, the Mutual Evaluation Report draft will be presented to the CFATF Plenary for discussion, as such, the Saint Lucia has to ensure that it has addressed all issues prior to same.
Summary of Accomplishments (2020)
During 2020, the NAMLOC has embarked on various projects which in some cases have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, and through the efforts of NAMLOC many institutions have benefited from virtual training seminars from various external partners.
The NAMLOC has continuously provided their input on the Draft Mutual Evaluation Report which would have been tabled at the May 2020 CFATF Plenary. The Plenary was postponed to November 2020 noting the current challenges of Covid-19. In preparation of the plenary, the NAMLOC had a series of conference calls with the CFATF assessment team to clarify and conclude on all outstanding matters and queries pertaining to the Report.
There is still much work to be done leading up to and after the presentation of Saint Lucia’s 4th Round Mutual Evaluation Report at the CFATF Plenary. The NAMLOC Unit as a part of the Attorney General’s Chambers, will continue the earnest deliberations in order to place our country in a state of readiness.