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AG: T&T not immune from terrorism, money laundering
T&T isn’t immune from the scourge of terrorism, its associated link to the financing of terrorism and the linkage to money laundering and corruption, says Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
He was speaking in the Senate yesterday, piloting legislation which amends current laws on mutual assistance in criminal matters, management of the proceeds of crime, the Financial Intelligence Unit and Customs and Exchange Control.
The bill seeks to eliminate terrorism financing, money laundering, tax evasion, and suspicious transactions. Al- Rawi said it is very relevant especially concerning “recent days’ events.”
“T&T finds itself in globally tumultous times ..the State faces ramifications and effects, in freedom of movement and trade— and applications of a form of disingenuous enterprise by disingenuous people at times,” he added.
Al- Rawi said the bill binds T&T with international obligations and reciprocal enforcement conditions to protect the country. He noted T&T’s banking sector is fighting loss of confidence and de-risking as a result of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s Fourth Round Evaluation.
He also noted increases in suspicious transactions noted in the Financial Intelligence Unit’s 2017 report - from $3billion over 2011 to 2016 to $22billion in 2017. But $13billion worth of transactions were halted.
Also, UNC Senator Wade Mark sought unsuccessfully to obtain debate on what he said was Government’s failure to protect Carnival visitors and since a terrorist cell had infiltrated T&T as the Prime Minister confirmed.
Mark said a terrorist cell whose mandate was to disrupt T&T’s social fabric was “running loose throughout T&T,”
Mark said Government was also lacking in decisive action due to the recent release of people who allegedly linked to a terrorist organisation and facilitation of “these terrorist cells.”
Senate President Christine Kangaloo advised Mark to refile the motion under another regulation than what he’d used.
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