ROAD TOWN, BVI -- A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with members of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) in the British Virgin Islands on Thursday, signaling the agencies' commitment to cooperate in combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
The signing, which took place during the opening ceremony to launch the British Virgin Islands’ National Risk Assessment Council (NRAC), is an important step as the BVI forges ahead and continues to comply with global financial standards to combat money laundering and counter the financing of terrorism.
The 14 signatories to the MoU include the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, the BVI Post Office, the BVI Ports Authority, Her Majesty’s Customs, the Financial Investigations Agency, Financial Services Commission, the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, the Immigration Department, BVI Airports Authority, International Tax Authority, Non-Profit Organisation Registration Board, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
In his feature address, chairman of the NRAC and premier of the BVI, Dr Orlando Smith, stated, “I wish to declare publicly my government’s continued commitment to compliance by the territory with the global AML/CFT standards. I reiterate the importance of the tradition of the territory’s continuing efforts in cooperating with our global partners in fighting the activities of money laundering, terrorist financing, proliferation financing and all forms of organized crime.”
The MoU signing comes as part of the government’s efforts to finalise the National Risk Assessment plan in preparation to implement strategies to remedy money laundering and counter the financing of terrorism in the British Virgin Islands.
Smith added, “The Virgin Islands is a global financial services centre and a popular tourist destination. Those who engage our financial services in good faith and those that visit our shores expect a clean environment – one in which they can invest with confidence and walk about freely.”
Over 100 top government and private sector officials witnessed the signings of the MoU, which is designed to foster cooperation between the relevant authorities in order to enable them, both individually and collectively, to carry out their administrative and statutory obligations (which may include obligations pursuant to international cooperation).
Additionally, the authorities will cooperate to assemble, develop, and analyse information in their possession concerning activities relating to money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism, the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, corruption, and other serious crimes. This includes information exchange relating to tax matters.