ONDCP, Central Bank partnering on anti-money laundering

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The Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) are finalising an agreement to partner on anti-money laundering measures under the Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.
Timothy Antoine, the ECCB governor said at a media briefing on Friday.
“We will soon sign an MOU with the ONDCP that will allow us to continue to do work together, to do for example, joint inspections on AML/CFT … joint training and collaboration,” the governor said.
He added that they believe the partnership will strengthen AML/CFT in Antigua and Barbuda and across the currency union. Antoine noted that the local law enforcement body would still have to do the reporting to oversight bodies such as the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce.
“But I think they welcome the ECCB’s involvement; they see it as additional support for them and we, of course, respect what the national regulator like the ONDCP has done and are doing, and we believe that there is a role now for us to come together and even strengthen that,” Antoine said.
Meanwhile, he cautioned that the Caribbean region was a single brand and that a weakness in one state could affect the others.
“So as strong as these national regulators are, at the end of the day, one weakness in any one of them undermines the entire region and that is why we have to constantly come together and build up each other.”
The governor said countries have been cooperating with the amendment and implementation of AML/CFT legislation
Antigua and Barbuda’s legislation was scheduled for amendment during the first quarter of this year, but the last sitting of the parliament was held on Friday as the country gears up for general election.

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