The government of St. Kitts and Nevis organized a three-day Pre-Assessment Training Workshop July 23–25 in preparation for the assessment of the Federation for next year’s Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) .
Following opening remarks by the Honourable Attorney General, Mr. Vincent Byron Jr., the workshop began with a two-day session for representatives of the various public sector agencies.
The attendees included key Senior Officials including Mrs. Hilary Hazel, Financial Secretary, Mrs. Sylvia Gumbs, Deputy Financial Secretary, Mrs. Jacqueline Somersall-Berry, Director, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Mr. Kennedy DeSilva, Comptroller, St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Department.
The sessions were conducted by CFATF Experts: Mr. Roger Hernandez, Financial Advisor and Mr. Pedro Harry, Law Enforcement Advisor.
The participants were apprised of key aspects of the Mutual Evaluation Process to ensure compliance with the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) recommendations. The third day of training focused on key stakeholders from the private sector who would also be integral to the Mutual Evaluation process.
St. Kitts and Nevis is a member of the CFATF, which requires a mutual evaluation to be conducted to determine compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on combating money laundering, the financing of terrorism and proliferation financing. The FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative ofthe G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In 2001, the mandate of the FATFexpanded to include terrorism financing.
It monitors progress in implementing the FATFrecommendations through “peer reviews” of member countries. The FATF’s recommendations also form a component of the requirements of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These requirements are used by the OECD to assess overall compliance of a member country.
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis was last evaluated by the CFATF in 2008 during the Third Round Mutual Evaluation Process. Based on the deficiencies identified at that time, legislative changes have been made to rectify and address the relevant matters. The Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluations commenced in 2014.
A key component of the Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation is to determine a country’s effectiveness in implementing the requirements of the FATF recommendations. The Federation has begun preparations for this process by conducting a National Risk Assessment (NRA) to identify vulnerable areas within the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Regime and developing an action plan to rectify any deficiencies. This process should be completed by the last quarter of 2019.
St. Kitts and Nevis continues to strengthen its AML/CFT Regime to be compliant with international standards.