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Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing Of Terrorism /Counter Proliferation Financing In Focus

Recommendation 30: Responsibilities of Law Enforcement and Investigative Authorities

RECOMMENDATION 30 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Forty Recommendations mandates countries to have designated law enforcement authorities which have the specific responsibility of properly investigating money laundering, terrorist financing and predicate offences through financial investigations. These enquiries occur with a view to: identify the scale of the criminal network, track and trace the proceeds of crime or terrorist funds and find evidence which will aid a criminal proceeding.

Countries are also mandated to designate at least one competent authority to identify, trace and initiate freezing and seizing of property that are or may be subject to confiscation. It is therefore important that law enforcement authorities have the power to conduct parallel investigations. Parallel investigations occur when a financial investigation occurs at the same time of a criminal investigation, and should include cases where the predicate offence happens outside of the jurisdiction. This means that cooperative investigations with competent authorities in other countries must take place.

Under this recommendation countries are urged to consider taking measures, even legislative in nature, to allow for competent authorities to postpone or waive the arrest of suspected persons. This is done for the purposes of identifying other persons involved in the criminal activity or for gathering greater evidence.

It should be noted that this recommendation also applies to competent authorities which are not law enforcement in nature but which have the responsibility of pursuing financial investigations of predicate offences.

In order for law enforcement and investigative authorities to function effectively and efficiently, countries should ensure that there is proper financial, human and technical resources provided to them. Additionally, staff of law enforcement and investigative authorities must be highly skilled, professional and possess integrity at the highest level.

Saint Lucia is now undergoing its 4th Round Mutual Evaluation, assessing the country’s regime in combatting money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. A part of this assessment will seek to determine how well law enforcement and investigative authorities are executing their functions under this recommendation. Financial Institutions, DNFBPs and the general public are encouraged to visit the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) website at https://www.cfatf-gafic.org to get more information on this recommendation.

Editor’s note: The preceding is Part 35 of a series by The Attorney General’s Chambers and the National Anti-Money Laundering Oversight Committee (NAMLOC) which aims to shed light on the 40 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force.

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