MPs oppose the need to divulge interest in companies

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Members of Parliament (MPs) from both sides of the aisle mounted – to no avail – staunch opposition to a new regulation which would require anyone with beneficial interest in, control of, or direction of a company to be declared to the regulatory authorities.
The provision was one of several amendments to various Acts being proposed in the Law Miscellaneous (Amendment) Bill 2017 – which sparked the longest and most heated of all the debates held on the floor of the Lower House of Parliament yesterday.
According to Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, the amendments were to “shore up gaps in the [Anti-money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism] legislation on the books ahead of the June visit of a team from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
However, St John’s Rural East MP, Sir Lester Bird, St John’s Rural West MP Baldwin Spencer, St George MP Dean Jonas and All Saints East & St Luke’s MP Joanne Massiah all opposed the Bill.
Sir Lester asked, “Is it because we are intimidated by the different entities overseas?” He then declared that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) should take a position on regulations being imposed by world powers like the United States (US).
“They have not implemented such laws. Therefore, we’re dealing on the basis that might is right. They try to impose them upon us willy-nilly. I do not accept that we have to go that route,” Sir Lester said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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