PHILIPSBURG – The FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit St. Maarten), and the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) will be working together in the “non-reporting project.” The aim of the “non-reporting project” is to provide more, timely and better reports of unusual transactions to the FIU.
The FIU is on St. Maarten, and the supervisor is carrying out investigations into mandatory institutions and compliance with the National Ordinance reporting unusual transactions (LV MOT) and the National Ordinance Identification Service (LV ID). The Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBP) on the island include notaries, accountants, jewelers, car dealers, administrative offices and real estate agents.
The FIU on St. Maarten has been diligently working on the registration and providing of information to the DNFBP and the Financial Institutions on the island when it comes to reporting unusual transactions and performing client due diligence. A large majority of these businesses and professions adhere to the registration and information requirements, however, a small group of DNFBP do not comply or do not fully comply.
Information of the DNFBP who do not adhere to the registration requirement of at the FIU can be transferred to the OM for criminal investigations. This is based on article 23 of the LV MOT. In a later stage of the project the results of the FIU audits will be discussed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office to determine if this should be followed up by criminal investigation in case reports are not submitted, or submitted incomplete, or no client due diligence was conducted.
The approach to money laundering and terrorism financing is a global initiative. It is very important for the effectiveness of combating all forms of serious crime as well as the protection of the integrity of the financial and economic market. Capturing the criminal origin of crime proceeds prevents the perpetrators of these crimes from staying out of the reach of the investigating authorities and enjoy, without any obstacles, their criminal proceeds.
The DNFBP are obliged to report unusual transactions to the FIU. These so-called “gatekeepers” are indispensable in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing and it is therefore important that they comply with their obligations under the LV MOT and the LV ID.
The FIU then assesses whether the unusual transaction is suspicious. If the transaction is considered suspicious, it can be investigated by the authorities. If institutions fail to report unusual transactions or if they intentionally do so late then this will work in undermining in relation to national and global financial integrity.
In addition, it can be considered as unfair competition to parties who comply with all relevant laws in this respect. In case of such failure, OM has the authority to initiate a criminal investigation.
For more information on FIU and the notifierproject go to: www.fiu-sxm.net.