by Linda Straker
- Recently concluded national risk assessment determined level of financial crime
- Grenada’s high-risk sectors are banking, car dealerships and lawyers
- Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) review scheduled for June 2020
Grenada is presently developing a national action plan to address the issues that have emerged in the recently concluded national risk assessment which determined the level of financial crime, especially in the area of money laundering and terrorist financing.
“The identification of our risk level is a critical component of the recommendation by the Financial Action Task Force, which states that countries should understand their money laundering risks. Through this assessment, we now have a greater understanding of the levels of risk in the financial space,” Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell told public sector representatives who are attending a pre-assessment training as part of initiatives to assist them in preparing the island for the fourth round of Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) review scheduled for June 2020.
The onsite visit of the CFATF experts will be preceded by the technical report which is scheduled to be ready by December 2019.
“We expect to have that report by year-end, but importantly, some actions are already being taken to advance the process of narrowing the gap between the risks identified and the international standards we need to comply with,” said Dr Mitchell. He believes that Grenada is in a better position to combat financial crimes when compared to other regional jurisdictions.
“Given the national risk assessment and the considerable work done to combat money laundering, I am convinced that Grenada is in good standing among its regional and international peers. What is critical to note is that government remains committed to further advancing this process, by making the necessary investments that enable the lead agencies to undertake their work,” he told participants which representing various Government agencies or department including the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Integrity Commission, and Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO).
According to the preliminary findings of the report, Grenada’s high-risk sectors are banking, car dealerships and lawyers, while medium risk sectors are real estate and credit unions.
Dr Mitchell said that the FIU’s engagement with car dealers provides a distinct example of the initiatives being taken to address issues highlighted by the risk assessment. “Car dealerships, particularly those engaged in used car sales have been assessed to be at the higher level of risk,” he said.
Dr Mitchell who also serves as the Minister for National Security said that government has good reason to be optimistic about the future. “Significant strides have been made since the third round of CFATF assessments 10 years ago, and we have consistently demonstrated a commitment to the anti-money laundering process,” he said.