Published On: Tue, Jan 7th, 2014

Shared financial information to fight crime in Trinidad and Tobago

Jwala_RambarranPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - The sharing of information amongst the three financial regulators will be a further step in combating the country's fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, said Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Governor, Jwala Rambarran.

Speaking at the signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding between the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) and the Central Bank, Rambarran said, "Some of you may already be asking about this collaboration in relation to the third financial regulator in Trinidad and Tobago, the Financial Intelligence Unit. I am pleased to inform you that Central Bank will soon be signing a similar MOU on regulatory collaboration with the FIU."

He added that the TTSEC was also negotiating for a similar MOU with the FIU.

Chairman of the TTSEC, Dr Patrick Watson, during his address at the signing ceremony, confirmed, "We are already engaged in the development of an MOU with the FIU, which we expect to be signed no later than February of this year. Additionally we shall, later this week, be signing a protocol with the Securities Dealers Association of Trinidad and Tobago, which seeks to treat with certain outstanding technical issues."

The governor stressed that this collaboration "among the countries three financial regulators is also a further step in supporting our efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing".

Rambarran noted that a 2007 joint report by the United National Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Bank, several factors heighten the Caribbean region's vulnerability to crime and violence.

He added that the report also noted that the region is wedged between the world's source of cocaine to the south and its primary consumer to the north, which makes it "the transit point for a torrent of narcotics whose street value exceeds the value for the entire formal economies of the Caribbean".

"Caught in this crossfire of the international drug trafficking network, financial regulators have an important stake in Trinidad and Tobago's efforts to make it even more difficult for organized criminal groups to move money through our financial system," the governor explained.

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