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The Senate passed the Regulations to the Terrorism Prevention Act, setting out the procedures to be followed by entities in their business operations, to ensure against supporting terrorism financing or offences, Friday (March 19).
The Act addresses a variety of issues with respect to terrorist financing, ranging from the prohibition of funding terrorist acts, to the monitoring of financial institutions, to ensure that they do not deal with an entity that has been designated as terrorist.
Under the Act, foreign companies involved in banking, securities, insurance or investment advice business in Jamaica, as well as financial institutions, as defined by the Act, have to report to the designated authority, if they are in possession of property owned or controlled by a ‘listed’ entity.
A ‘listed’ entity is one designated as terrorist by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council, or an order of the Supreme Court under the Act. These bodies have to report all complex, unusual, large transactions or patterns of transactions to the Director of Public Prosecutions or any other person designated by the Minister.
The Regulations will give effect to these matters, Minister of National Security, Hon. Senator Dwight Nelson explained, as he sought the support of the Senate for the Bill.
He pointed out that, as a member of the Financial Action Task Force, in order to meet its obligations to combat terrorism financing,Jamaica has committed to have the Regulations enforced by the end of this financial year. The Regulations were approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 16).
“Terrorism prevention regulations must come into force with appropriate penalties. Failure of the country to enact the regulations by the end of the legislative year, may have serious consequences in light of certain commitments, which Jamaica has given to the Financial Action Task Force,” he explained.
The UN Security Council monitors countries by requiring that countries submit reports to a committee established under Resolution 1373, and the elements related to terrorism are separately monitored by the Financial Action Task Force. This is an inter- governmental body linked to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which develops policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
“The Financial Action Task Force also conducts regular mutual evaluation of countries, to make sure that they are adhering to international standards in these areas. If a country is deemed to be failing to implement these standards, it may be deemed to be a high risk jurisdiction. If the Financial Action Task Force makes a recommendation to its members about Jamaica, that can effectively lock Jamaica’s financial institutions out of the global financial system,” Senator Nelson outlined.
The regulations speak to: observance of guidance and due diligence; procedures and training; verification of customer identity; transaction verification procedure; payments by post; identification procedures regarding transactions on behalf of another; identification exemption procedures; and record keeping procedures.
It also deals with: internal reporting procedures; the operations of fictitious accounts by reporting entities; forms of reports to designated authority; application of standards to overseas branches and subsidiaries; directions from designated authority.