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  • The Senate has approved five Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
  • The Orders will cover non-financial businesses and professions.
  • The purpose of the Orders is to designate these professions as non financial institutions under the provisions of POCA.

The Senate has approved five Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), as part of measures to combat the issue of money laundering.

They are: 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, which were approved in the Senate on Friday, November 29, will cover non-financial businesses and professions, as the Government continues to implement anti-money laundering measures.

In his remarks, Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, said it was determined by the Government 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.

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

Senator Golding pointed out that the purpose of the Orders is to designate these professions as non financial institutions under the provisions of POCA.

“The effect of this designation is that these professions will then be brought within the definition of a regulated sector and thereby be subjected to certain anti money laundering obligations under the POCA and the proceeds of crime money laundering regulations,” Mr. Golding stated.

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 Commission; and the Casino Gaming Commission.

Meanwhile, Opposition Senator, Alexander Williams, said the Opposition supported the legislation as it “will tighten our compliance with the requirements laid out by the financial action task force.”

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.