by Linda Straker
- Non-profit organisations to register with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Commission
- Proceed of Crime (Amendment) legislation approved by Parliament
- Ministry of Legal Affairs shows 636 such non-profit organisations in Grenada
All organisations operating as non-profit organisations (NPOs) within the state will soon have to register with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Commission as part of a mandatory requirement as provided in the Proceed of Crime (Amendment) legislation which was approved by both Houses of Parliament earlier in the year.
However, before the enforcement of this piece of legislation, the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Financial Intelligence Unit will be having a session with representatives from NPOs to give them a better understanding about the background to the legislation and why the need to create a registry.
Attorney General Dr Lawrence Joseph, who is also Chairman of the AML/CTF Commission said that there are NPOs which in other jurisdictions are referred to as non-governmental organisations that are set up to assist terrorist groups money laundering. “And therefore, we approved the legislation to combat this. It was recommended by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force; and the aim is to combat this type of activity in our jurisdiction. NPOs are our first target group, but as you will see in the legislation there are other groups,” said Dr Joseph.
Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Tafawa Pierre said that session on 23 September at the National Stadium would bring the NPOs together to guide them about the regulations and what is required. “This legislation is to ensure that the money they are spending on projects are not from any form of criminal activity and they are in turn not financing terrorist organisations, directly or inadvertently,” he said. He explained the main initiative that each organisation will have to undertake is a point person for monitoring the finances of the organisation. “So, for example, a church will need to have an anti-money laundering regime which could be a person responsible for monitoring the financing, how it is spent, where the money is coming from, basically keeping records that will be reflective of all financial details,” he said.
NPOs are all organisations that operate as non-profit organisations. Data at the Ministry of Legal Affairs shows that there are 636 such organisations in Grenada. They include churches, political organisations, foundations, charities and all categories of civil society organisations.
Other targeted groups that will have to be registered are:
- Money service business
- Real estate businesses
- Lawyers and law firms
- Car dealers
- Dealers in precious stone and precious metals
- Insurance companies earning more than EC$25 million or less than EC$25 million
- Large credit unions earning more than EC$50 million
- Small credit unions earing under EC$50 million.
A session will be held with them at a later date.
According to the legislation, once an entity is registered, the commission must publish at such intervals and in such manner as the commission determines; and books will be “open to public inspection at such times as are reasonably convenient.”
Registration will be annual and will cost each group a different amount, but it will range between EC$100 and EC$500. A registration certificate shall be issued once approved. “Registration under this section shall be valid for 12 months from the date of the initial registration and is renewable thereafter for a further period of 12 months from each anniversary date of the registration,” states the legislation.
A regulated entity that fails to register with the commission commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $5,000 and to a further fine of $300 for each day the offence continues.