With the endorsement of the National Risk Assessment Council and the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands, the Government of the Virgin Islands sponsored a strategic AML/CFT training initiative for relevant Law Enforcement Agencies and Competent Authorities within the Territory, which was facilitated by the National Risk Assessment Steering Group.
The training programme was developed to ensure that persons within the Territory with direct or indirect responsibility for dealing with AML/CFT matters have a clear and proper understanding of these matters, their agencies’ roles and the implications for failing to execute these roles. The programme was designed to cover the relevant FATF Recommendations and outline the ramifications of the lack of an effective AML/CFT regime.
The programme, which was divided into two modules, ran from 31st March to 14th June, 2016 during which time 376 persons from 19 different government agencies were trained.
Module 1 provided an overview of the legislative measures in place in the VI to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, proliferation financing and other related crimes include financial crimes. Attendees were exposed to various issues geared towards strengthening knowledge and understanding in identifying and mitigating ML/TF risk in accordance with the FATF Recommendations and protect the reputation of the Territory.
Presenters explained the purpose of implementing appropriate AML/CFT measures as a means of protecting the financial system from abuse, and set out the legislative framework that is the basis for the Territory’s powers to criminalise ML/ TF and its comprehensive and multi-faceted international co-operation framework to combat cross-border crime.
Module 2 expounded on the key FATF Recommendations that must be implemented through the relevant LEAs and Competent Authorities to ensure that the VI has an effective AML/CFT framework. The presentations stressed the importance of agencies recognizing and understanding the processes and procedures entailed for effective implementation of the Recommendations and ensuring cooperation both domestically and internationally.