JIS News

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  • The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, November 19, approved five Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
  • The Orders will cover non-financial businesses and professionals.
  • The Orders are also in keeping with the agreed timelines between the Government of Jamaica and the Caribbean Financial Task Force.

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, November 19, approved five Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), as part of measures to combat the issue of money laundering.

The five Orders are: the Proceeds of Crime (Designated Non-Financial Institution) (Gaming Machine Operators) Order; Proceeds of Crime (Designated Non-Financial Institution) (Real Estate Dealers) Order; Proceeds of Crime (Designated Non-Financial Institution) (Attorneys-at-law) Order; Proceeds of Crime (Designated Non-Financial Institution) (Casino Operators) Order; and the Proceeds of Crime (Designated Non-Financial Institution) (Public Accountants) Order.

The Orders will cover non-financial businesses and professionals, as the Government continues to implement anti-money laundering measures.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, noted that in October, the Lower House passed changes to the Proceeds of Crime Amendment Act which, among other things, places a limit of $1 million on cash transactions with financial institutions.

“It was determined by the Government of Jamaica that certain sectors that are outside of the traditional financial sector and in keeping with international requirements and trends, should be subjected to anti-money laundering measures,” Mr. Bunting said.

“The reason for this is that criminals often need to use the services of these professions and others to launder their illicit cash. As a consequence, having these professionals being subjected to anti-money laundering measures is in our view, a strong deterrent to launders, and should also assist law enforcement in tracking assets, where these professionals make the required disclosures under law,” he added.

Mr. Bunting also noted that the Orders are also in keeping with the agreed timelines between the Government of Jamaica and the Caribbean Financial Task Force and “in light of the risk these groups may pose to our anti-money laundering efforts.”

Leader of Opposition Business in the Lower House, Derrick Smith, said that the Opposition is in agreement with the Orders.

“We do hope that when these Orders are implemented that the country can be assured that there will be improved management and minimising of the proceeds of criminal activities in this country, which should lend itself to some sort of a decline in crime overall,” Mr. Smith said.

The competent authorities for the aforementioned designated non financial businesses and professions are:  the General Legal Council; Public Accountancy Board; Real Estate Board; Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commissions; and the Casino Gaming Commission.

The Orders will come into effect on April 1, 2014 except for the Proceeds of Crime (Designated Non-Financial Institution) (Attorneys-at-law) Order, which will take effect in June 2014.