PHILIPSBURG:— Last week, staff members of TBO/OM and TBO/RST held informative talks with directors of several administration and trust offices located on Sint Maarten. In these talks, experiences were shared that relate to criminal investigations into corruption and money laundering. This is to alert the aforementioned service providers to possible abuse by criminals and to enable them to better identify unusual transactions and to report them to the MOT (FIU). It is of great public interest to be vigilant and to identify possible corruption and money laundering practices. Various international studies show that the consequences of natural disasters, such as Irma and Maria, provide a breeding ground for corruption and fraud. In addition, the important condition for obtaining aid funds is that the government, companies, and citizens of Sint Maarten make maximum efforts to prevent the aid funds from flowing into corruption money. The anti-corruption unit TBO (Team Bestrijding Ondermijning) fights corruption and money laundering jointly with a chain of regulators, MOT (FIU), judicial authorities and companies that are subject to reporting. Administration and trust offices are obliged companies. This means that they are legally obliged to report unusual transactions to the MOT (FIU). In the informative discussions that were held, it was indicated on the basis of general typologies what forms of corruption and money laundering TBO recognizes in the criminal investigations conducted on Sint Maarten. This includes the following characteristics:
– Intermediaries/consultants hired for concealing corruption funds;
– invoicing for work that is not or partly done (false invoices);
– the final destination of many corruption funds is often real estate;
– abuse of third-party accounts and checks for concealing money flows;
– use of offshore companies to conceal the beneficial owner (the so-called UBO).
The building sector, the telecommunications sector and the public limited companies are at high risk of being misused for corruption and money laundering. In addition, trust offices and companies in the administrative and banking sector run a high risk of being misused to facilitate these types of crime. The TBO can not only fight corruption and money laundering. We do this with you and for you. In this, you, as a critical civil society, are indispensable. Essential here are signals
from the society of corruption and money laundering. Do you suspect that there may be money laundering or corruption? Do not hesitate to report this to TBO via [email protected] rst-politie.net
More information about MOT (FIU) and reporting duty can be found on www.fiu-sxm.net or via
tel. + 1721 542 3025.
Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/28679-tbo-shares-experience-with-administration-and-trust-offices.html