BVI News

Gov’t moves to strengthen anti-money laundering, terrorism laws

Amid a number of international financial reports that have accused the BVI’s financial services industry of aiding money launderers in recent times, the Cabinet is moving to pass new laws to tackle tax evasion and money laundering.

The EU, the UK and other international financial lobbies have been pressuring the BVI to improve its financial laws and make its systems more transparent to prevent the world’s richest from hiding money here.

At Cabinet’s February 3 meeting, officials considered the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) (Amendment) Act 2021 which facilitates the BVI’s cooperation with other countries in criminal proceedings and investigations.

Cabinet said the Bill will be introduced for its first reading in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.

Giving the FIA teeth against money laundering

Cabinet also considered and approved the Proliferation Financing (Prohibition) Act 2021, which gives powers to the Financial Investigation Agency to take action against persons and activities that may be related to terrorist financing and money laundering.

The Proliferation Financing (Prohibition) Act 2021 seeks to replace the Proliferation Financing (Prohibition) Act, 2009 and will be introduced in the House of Assembly for its first reading at the next convenient sitting.

The Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2021  is yet another piece of legislation that was considered and approved by the Cabinet. According to a post-Cabinet statement from its February 3 meeting, this bill is seeking to “criminalise tax crimes as a predicate offence for money laundering”.

Counter-terrorism

Additionally, Cabinet reviewed the Counter-Terrorism Act, 2021, which is the creation of the territory’s domestic legislation regarding terrorist-related matters.

According to Cabinet, this law is also a means of strengthening the current counter-terrorism legislative regime in a manner that satisfies the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force standards for combating terrorist financing. This Bill will also be introduced for its first reading at the next convenient sitting of the House of Assembly.

These laws are being reviewed by Cabinet just weeks after the Tax Justice Network (TJN) revealed that the BVI’s ranking for financial secrecy has worsened in the last two years.

The Financial Secrecy Index 2020 shows that out of 133 countries listed, the BVI placed ninth — meaning the country is one of the top ten tax havens of the world.

Less than a year ago, the BVI was also named in the Fincen Files scandal.

The scandal involves more than 2,500 leaked documents that show how some of the world’s largest banks have allowed criminals to hide ‘dirty money’ in countries like the BVI and the Cayman Islands.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

18 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. FBI says:

    Having as our leader someone who was suspected of money laundering by the US is certainly not a good image for us. We have made some mistakes as a country. We don’t think thoroughly about who we elect.

    Like 26
    Dislike 15
  2. Nervous says:

    So the government has finally realized that the Brits aren’t playing anymore. They have been telling the crooked politicians for years that the financial sector is over. Now with the COI reality has finally set in and a take over by the Brits is eminent. Soooo, let’s hurry and pass laws to try and make the Brits happy. Too little too late. You opened the door with your reckless thievery and mismanagement. You all need to go and an interim government put in place. It’s time for the BVI to flourish like other Caribbean nations under honest rule.

    Like 25
    Dislike 28
  3. We in trouble says:

    The BVI is in loads of trouble. Right now we needed our best minds to be working on the international scene to help us with financial services and tourism. But we have a government now that is not fit for purpose and who do not have the ability to move us forward. I see no one in our government with the capabilities needed right now. People we are up a creek without a paddle.

    Like 22
  4. Look at that says:

    Keep your eyes on HAITI, the people is getting ready to set it off real soon.

  5. @NERVOUS says:

    YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. EVERY OTHER CARIBBEAN NATIONS IS FLOURISHING WAYYYYY BETTER THAN THE BVI. WE NEED AN INTERIM GOVERNMENT ASAP. THE PEOPLE IN HAITI IS GETTING READY TO DO WHAT THEY GO TO DO. TO LITTLE TO LATE FOR REAL. RECKLESS, THIEVERY AND MISMANAGEMENT SHOULD BE THE HEADLINE.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  6. Certified Accountant says:

    Unexplained wealth is just another name for money laundering. Government to get tough on big houses in the hills!

    Like 11
    • YESSSSS says:

      AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE ONES ON THE HILLS WITH SWIMMING POOLS AND DRIVING THE EXPENSIVE RIDES AND ONLY MEANS OF INCOME IS WORKING AS A CIVIL SERVANT? YOU PEOPLE IS DOING YOUR OWN-SELVES IN.

      Like 13
      • AHEM, EXCUSE ME says:

        THESE PEOPLE TRYING TO LIVE LIKE THE PEOPLE IN BEVERLY HILLS. THEY MAY AS WELL START CALLING IT TOLLYWOOD HILLS. I OFTEN WONDER HOW CAN A PERSON MAKING AN AVERAGE SALARY BUT CAN AFFORD TO BUILD A HUGE HOUSE ON THE HILL, SWIMMING POOL AND DRIVING AROUND IN LUXARY CARS SHOWING OFF ON THESE RAGADY ROADS. MOST OF THE HOUSES ON THE HILL MIGHT BE HUGE AND HAVE ALL THE AMENITIES BUT THE ACTUAL DESIGN IS UGLY.

  7. Secret Bear says:

    “Weeks?” Try a year. You clowns literally reported on something from Feb. 2020 (the Financial Secrecy Index) as if it just came out. Are you that illiterate that you didn’t notice the difference?

  8. Rubber Duck says:

    More than likely even more mindless bureaucracy that will achieve nothing except making doing business in BVI even more difficult.

  9. Clearly says:

    Some of you just blogging foolishness. We appluad this Government for being forward thinking.

    Like 2
    Dislike 10
  10. hmmm says:

    Everybody is commenting about everything except the actual bills. Hmmmm

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  11. Sue says:

    @Clearly, ok, fine, you made your point. IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE CHERRY TASTING SAND, FORWARD THINKING? IF THIS GOVERNMENT WAS FORWARD THINKING, DON’T YOU THINK THE COUNTRY WOULD HAVE BEEN IN A BETTER POSITION THAT IT IS TODAY? THE FORWARD THINKER THEY RAN A DIRTY CAMPAIGN AGAINST.

Leave a Comment

Shares