Don’t throw all of  your salt at the first frog you see,not all frogs are princes in disguise.

I strongly advise against changing all your colours  for someone that you just started dating.When they are gone ,you will lose yourself too. Present a challenge to them, let them earn your trust . Give it time. We have grown used to instantaneous messaging, and we have erroneously accepted this as communication. We no longer get  to know our partners , we ‘talk’ for a minute, then we take the relationship to the next  level. We render ourselves irrevocably vulnerable. In the event that we are dating a sociopath, this person may lose interest after feasting on your tender flesh. You cannot undo the deed at this point,what’s done is done. 

There was a loud scream that disrupted the still of the night. My mother ran to the kitchen for  table salt to chase a frog that was relaxing on the walkway. Her racing heart vibrated in her chest and she was gasping for breath. Naturally, I peeped to see the commotion. She attempted to sprinkle some white, table salt on the frog, she missed. And the frog and I laughed. Then my mother emptied the entire contents of the jar of salt on the ground. The frog hopped away, rolling his big eyes at her. My mother was relieved that she nevertheless chased the frog away. The frog on the other hand, was irritated at the inconvenience. My mother then informed me that we were out of salt. Although I was displeased at the wastage , I had to lecture my mother about another life lesson. 

I told her that we should distribute our salt in direct proportion to the sugar that we receive. We ought not to give all of  our salt to the first person that we meet. Most times that person is just bored and is looking for entertainment ,this is the equivalent to saying thatnothing seriousis desired. Do not inconvenience yourself for any temporary person. Treat your salt with the value that it deserves. Your salt should not be dashed upon every attractive person that you see. Give them one grain of your precious salt and see how they react. See if this person respects you as a human being and not as a salt machine. Wait to see if they are sweet to you, this is what I mean by offering you sugar. Observe how they address the gas station attendants, pay attention to the tone used when they address waitresses as restaurants. Notice their actions, compare these to their words and ensure that there is consistency. I appreciate the fact that it is your salt and you can distribute it as you please. I am just cautioning you that after you waste all of your salt on someone who hops out of your life, you will have no taste.

The author is an attorney at law based in Trinidad. she specialises in Corporate law, Anti Money Laundering and Fraud Risk Management.

See her website http://asydneygroup.com

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There is Peace in the Storm

The song writer said to stand in the rain, you wont drown. Another asked can you stand the rain? Then in a balad the song writer wished that it would rain down on him.Yet when the tempest roars,we want to jump ship. In many cultures there are rituals to invite the rain. The flowers need the rain to grow, the birds need the rain to shower. We shelter from the rain, we stay home from work because it was raining. I have learned to dance in  torrential downpours. I have learned to smile when tears were pouring down my dimples. There is oftentimes a blessing to be enjoyed after the storm. The rain will wash away your past pain. I no longer sing nursery rhymes to chase the rain away. I have a fire burning in the depths of my soul that the rain cannot master. There will not always be sunshine in your life. You may face a storm, where everything seems to be going wrong. But there is beauty after pain. A rainbow follows the storm. There is joy after sorrow. Count your blessings in the storm, your pocket may be empty but your children are well fed. Summon the rain, welcome the storm then hold you head up and conquer the storm.

You get stronger when your destiny is almost fulfilled

Do you recall being asked whether you are a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) on an application form to open a new deposit account with your financial institution? Welcome to the club! I erroneously interpreted this question as the bank’s attempt to determine my political alignment. Knowledge has since found me and enlightened me. I have been forgiven of my blissful ignorance and I am not afraid to tell you about the good news of the banks’ rationale in seeking to determine whether a potential customer is a PEP.

What are PEPs?

Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are those individuals presently or formerly holding a powerful local or foreign public position, and family members and close associates of that individual.[1]

PEPS are classified according to the potential risks involved[2].

High Risk – Level 1 PEPs

Heads of state and government;

Members of government (national and regional);

Members of Parliaments (national and regional);

Heads of military, judiciary, law enforcement and board of central banks;

Top ranking officials of political parties.

Medium-High Risk – Level 2 PEPs

Senior officials of the military, judiciary, and law enforcement agencies;

Senior officials of other state agencies and bodies and high ranking civil servants;

Senior members of religious groups;

Ambassadors, consuls, high commissioners.

Medium Risk – Level 3 PEPs

Senior management and board of directors of state-owned businesses and organisations – e.g. Chairman of a Bank

Low Risk – Level 4 PEPs

Mayors and members of local county, city and district assemblies

Senior officials and functionaries of international or supranational organisations

Why are PEPs high risk clients to a Financial Institution?

PEPs are potential targets for bribes due to their prominent position in public life. They have a higher risk of corruption due to their access to state accounts and funds[3]. The FIU has warned that it is not to be assumed that all PEPs are involved in criminal activity. Not all PEPs have acquired wealth through illicit means; many entered public life with a substantial net worth. Not all PEPs are corrupt, but they are vulnerable to bribery and corruption at hands of well dressed criminal elements desirous of furthering their nefarious  activities. PEPs are in envious positions to award lucrative contracts and many criminals long for such friends in high places. PEPs pose a substantial risk to the financial institutions and FATF[4] issued guidelines on dealing with same.

PEPs and Money Laundering

Corrupt PEPs may abuse their power and exploit the regulatory difference between jurisdictions to facilitate the laundering of corruption proceeds and/or illegally diverted government, supranational or aid funds[5].

How do Financial Institutions combat money laundering risks posed by PEPs?

Financial Institutions ought to regularly monitor PEPs.

Guidance on dealing with PEPs[6]

Recommended actions institutions should take:

Identify the PEP from within the customer base;

Identify the country associated with the PEP;

Identify the type of business, industry, personal financial situation of the PEP (this is basic Know Your Customer information);

Identify the PEP’s affiliations, employment, associations, etc. Develop a profile of the PEPs transactions;

Determine if the transactions are as expected by comparing the actual transactions to what is known about the PEP;

Identify and investigate transactions that are outside the norm, or which are high-risk.

General Guidelines on dealing with Foreign PEPs[7]

With respect to foreign PEPs ,the financial institution must perform Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) on same and  monitor the activities of the foreign PEP  to understand the following:

Source of Funds;

Source of Wealth;

Transactions;

Differences in sums actual deposited compared to expected sums.

In closing, I hope that you in turn spread the wonderful news about the banks’ reasoning behind asking whether a customer is a PEP . That’s all for PEP Talk people.

The author is an attorney at law based in Trinidad. She has specialized in Anti Money Laundering and Fraud Risk Management. Please call 868 373-1166 for a Consultation. Website http://asydneygroup.com

Sources:

[1]https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/taxlaw/b/federaltaxation/archive/2014/05/21/politically-exposed-persons-peps.aspx#sthash.agZvV1eB.dpuf

[2] https://complyadvantage.com/fatf-definition-of-pep/

[3] http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/381-400/tandi386.html

[4] http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/Guidance-PEP-Rec12-22.pdfhas

[5] http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/381-400/tandi386.html

[6]http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/politically-exposed-persons-tips-for-how-financial-institutions-should-handle-a-873

[7]http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/politically-exposed-persons-tips-for-how-financial-institutions-should-handle-a-873