Someone will win,someone will lose in the Game of Life

The sky sneezed and the heavens cried. I dodged the droplets of rain and I ran to seek shelter. The rain subsided and I continued walking. I smiled and was comforted because I remained dry. I crossed the main road and I continued walking. A vehicle approached me and the front ,left wheel descended into a depression on the paved road that was now a puddle. I was the recipient of all the dirty water in the puddle. My left side was drenched, I was irritated for a split second, then  I realised that I was four minutes away from my destination. I started thinking of the days that  the driver used to walk. I am sure that he was splashed with dirty water by a motorist in his youth. I also considered all the pedestrians I may splash water on in the near future. Then I realised that’s life. Sometimes you love, sometimes you lose. Some days you are up,other days you feel down. In any race,someone has to win,someone has to lose. Life consists of these fleeting moments and it is your responsibility to take delight in them. In the alternative, you can worry and become frustrated by things that are beyond your control.


A.Sydney is an attorney at law by profession in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT/  Compliance, Taxation and provides Corporate Secretarial Services. Kindly explore the website for her portfolio of companies: .


The price of success is paid now or later

Everything comes at a cost. In order to be successful in your chosen field you must sacrifice the things that you love the most.The earlier you start the better. As you mature ,you assume more responsibilities. You have to consider the well-being of your loved ones . But at some point ,during your journey to success,they may feel abandoned. A parent may miss some school plays or some football games  because they are busy pursuing a better life for their children. A girlfriend may miss her boyfriend’s birthday celebration because she is at a foreign university. Sacrifice and inconvenience are cousins of progress. Each small victory comes at a cost. Each course you pass at university is the result of sleepless nights. Successfully delivering your baby comes on the heels of months of discomfort. Ideally your end goal should be worth the difficulties that you endure. It is best practice to know why you are willing to subject yourself to such pain. This will be your comfort when the storms of life are raging. Those who are unsuccessful are too comfortable in life. They have no desire to leave their comfort zone.They are not willing to pay the price of success. The price of success may be your marriage,your relationship or your house. I can assure you that success takes notes of your sacrifices. Success interprets this as an invitation. Success follows the passionate, the diligent, the heartbroken. As the saying goes, after “freeness” is “Jesus”. Success is not free. It will avoid you if you do not pay your dues now or later .


A.Sydney is an attorney at law by profession in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT/FIU  Compliance, Taxation and provides Corporate Secretarial Services. Kindly explore the website for her portfolio of companies:

If you like her,treat her well, do not hit her.

Who taught us how to love? Why do we teach our boys to pick on the girls that they like at school? Some boys think that being aggressive with girls will show the girls their  affection. As our boys grow older, they ridicule the girls they fancy with their peers. Our boys graduate from school and are still unable to be affectionate with  women.

I have been watching episodes of the Disney cartoon series  called the “DuckTales” 1987. One particular episode in season 2 episode 3 named “Bubbeo and Juliet” is instructive. This episode was released on September 20th 1989.In this episode, summer ended and Uncle Scrooge’s nephew’s (the lads) returned to school. On the first day of school, Bubba developed a crush on a girl called Juliet. The lads told him to ask her to have lunch with him,but he was clumsy and nervous around Juliet. He became frustrated and he just wanted to let her know that he was interested in her. Bubba raised his club and was about to hit Juliet on the head. The lads screamed at Bubba to stop. Webbie (a duckling) asked about Bubba’s actions. The lads explained that Bubba was a caveman and he showed his affection by hitting his crush with his club. Webbie told Bubba that he should not exhibit caveman behaviour at school and instead of hitting Juliet with his club, he should get her flowers. Her advice was profound in the context of a cartoon from the 80’s.

Our boys are of the opinion that showing emotions takes away from their masculinity. They enter into relationships with women and are unable to be affectionate . They remain cold,distant and aggressive and the relationship suffers. Their seeds bring forth children who are strangers to affection. The father hits the mother of his children and swears that he loves her and I verily believe him. He has not learned how to hold the hand of his lover, how to rub her feet after a long day at the office. When the mother of his children seeks affection outside of the relationship he hits her because he thinks his masculinity is challenged. It is not too late to  teach our boys : If you like her , treat her well, do not hit her.



A.Sydney is an attorney at law by profession in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT/FIU  Compliance, Taxation and provides Corporate Secretarial Services. Kindly explore the website for her portfolio of companies: .


The longer you fight in the ring of life,the stronger you become.

Everyone has problems. Rich people have rich people problems, while poor people have poor people problems.  You may feel defeated in the ring of life. You may feel battered , bruised and hopeless. I urge you to hold on. Just one more day. Keep your head up throughout this period.

Although I dislike watching wrestling, I endure it for the sake my mother. She explained that each wrestler had signature moves that would debilitate the opposition. Every week, I watch at least  one match with her,she is always thrilled for the company. Both wrestlers fought relentlessly. They inhaled each other’s perspiration. The crowd chanted one wrestler’s name as he subdued his enemy. The referee sat beside the fighters  to count . At the mention of the number 2, the subdued wrestler furiously shook his leg to indicate that he was not ready to give up. The opponent of my  mother’s favourite wrestler looked exhausted. The commentator stated that the longer the favoured wrestler fought, the stronger he became. With great anticipation , my mother awaited the signature moves to be executed. The favoured wrestler  positioned his back against the ropes of the ring. He charged at his enemy, he performed what is termed  a ‘spear’. The other wrestler fell helplessly to his knees. The referee counted 1…2…3. No sign of movement from the now defeated wrestler. Victory was declared in favour of my mother’s preferred wrestler.

Sometimes you have to continue working on your dream despite your current situation. It is better to be delusional as you navigate through the rough seas of your life than to be depressed by your scary reality. Even if you lack a support system, you will learn to encourage yourself. Fight the good fight , your enemy will give up before you.


A.Sydney is an attorney at law by profession in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT/FIU  Compliance, Taxation and provides Corporate Secretarial Services. Kindly explore the website for her portfolio of companies: .


PEP Talk: Why do Financial Institutions ask if you are a Politically Exposed Person (PEP):AML Compliance Consultants

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.

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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;


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


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