CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION: Anti Money Laundering Compliance

Knowing Your Customer (KYC) is crucial to be able to identify unusual and suspicious customer activity. If the behaviour or transaction falls outside of the normal business activity for the customer then it becomes unusual. If the Listed Business (LB) or Financial Institution (FI) has reasonable grounds to bewlieve thst the teasactionis related to money laundering (ML) and or the finnancing of terrorism (TF), then a suspicious activity or transaction report shou;d be filed.

The following information must be obtained from the customer.(1) 15.(1) The financial institution or listed business shall on initiating a business relationship or transaction with an applicant, obtain
relevant identification records of the applicant as follows:
(a) full name of the applicant(s);
(b) permanent address and proof thereof;
(c) date and place of birth;
(d) nationality;
(e) nature and place of business/occupation where applicable;
(f) occupational income where applicable;
(g) signature;
(h) purpose of the proposed business relationship or
transaction and source of funds; and
(i) any other information deemed appropriate by the financial
institution or listed business.
(2) A valid passport, national identification card or driver’s
license shall be proof of identification and shall also be obtained or
examined by the financial institution or listed business.
(3) Where the business relationship involves a foreign customer
a reference shall be sought from the foreign customer’s bank.
(4) Where original documents are not available, copies shall be
acceptable only where they are certified by identification.

16(1) The requirements outlined in regulation 15, with
appropriate adaptations, shall apply to a business customer and the
financial institution or listed business shall verify the identity of the
directors and other officers of a company, partners of a partnership,
account signatories, beneficial owners and sole traders by means of
documentary evidence.
(2) In addition, the financial institution or listed business shall
obtain, to the extent relevant to a proposed business relationship or
transaction—
(a) the Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of
Continuance;
(b) the Articles of Incorporation;
(c) a copy of the by-laws, where applicable;

(d)management accounts for the last three years for selfemployed
persons and businesses which have been in
operation for more than three years; and
(e) information on the identity of shareholders holding more
than ten per centum of the paid up share capital of the
company.
(3) In the event that an applicant for business cannot satisfy the
requirements of subregulation (2)(d), the financial institution or listed business may request other forms of proof of the integrity of the source of funds to be used for the transaction.

About the Author: Antoinette Sydney LLB LEC CAMLFC CFRMP, Bar No. SYA2015211, Attorney at Law. The author is the first Online Lawyer based in Trinidad and Tobago. Her entire Law Practice is based Online using technology. Client meetings are conducted at mutually convenient meeting points. She has clients in Guyana, St Vincent, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands and North America. She specializes in Corporate Law and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance. She helps clients to start their Online Business Empire.

Check out my Online Companies: www.asydneygroup.com

Call/Whatsapp for a quotation 868 373-1166

Blog: https://sydneygroupblog.wordpress.com/

Linked In: https://tt.linkedin.com/in/antoinette-sydney-77093550

Instagram: @asydneygrouptt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydneygrouptt/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8-sUa8WMDJM8w5_Q3nhQ5w

I am a Certified Professional in the following areas:

Taxation;

Corporate Training;

Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes;

Fraud Risk Management;

Graphic Design.

Services include:

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Training for staff, directors;

Anti-Money Laundering Audits;

Compliance Program drafting;

Consulting services and much more.

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What does PEP mean? AML Compliance Consultants

PEP is an acronym for Politically Exposed Person. The FATF Recommendations require the application of additional CDD to business relationship with PEPs due to the potential risk associated with PEPs.

This does not only refer to politicians but there are different categories of PEPs:

Category 1Foreign PEP;

Category2- Domestic PEP;

Category #3 -International Organizations;

Category #4-Immediate Family Category # 5- Close associate

The author is the first Online Lawyer  based in Trinidad and Tobago. She specialises in Anti-Money Laundering Compliance.

She is a Certified Professional in the following areas:

Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes;

Taxation;

Corporate Training;

Fraud Risk Management;

Graphic Design.

Whats app 868 373-1166 for quotation

Website: http://asydneygroup.com

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What does the FIU mean?AML Compliance Consultants

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is the  primary institution for the collection of financial intelligence and information and the analysis, dissemination, and exchange of such financial intelligence this will also include information among law enforcement authorities, financial institution and listed businesses.

Check out my Youtube video!!

The author is the first Online Lawyer  based in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in Anti-Money Laundering and FIU Compliance.

She is a Certified Professional in the following areas:

Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes;

Fraud Risk Management;

Taxation;

Corporate Training;

Graphic Design.

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What is AML?: Trinidad Online Lawyer

AML is an acronym for Anti Money Laundering. There is an evolving jurisprudence around this subject matter. I have prepared a free training session on this on Youtube.

See my Youtube video explaining Anti Money Laundering. Please Subscribe for the other 20+ AML Training sessions .

About the Author: Antoinette Sydney LLB LEC CAMLFC CFRMP, Bar No. SYA2015211, Attorney at Law. The author is the first Online Lawyer based in Trinidad and Tobago. Her entire Law Practice is based Online using technology. Client meetings are conducted at mutually convenient meeting points. She has clients in Guyana, St Vincent, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands and North America. She specializes in Corporate Law and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance. She helps clients to start their Online Business Empire.

Check out my Online Companies: www.asydneygroup.com

Call/Whatsapp for a quotation 868 373-1166

Blog: https://sydneygroupblog.wordpress.com/

Linked In: https://tt.linkedin.com/in/antoinette-sydney-77093550

Instagram: @asydneygrouptt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydneygrouptt/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8-sUa8WMDJM8w5_Q3nhQ5w

I am a Certified Professional in the following areas:

Taxation;

Corporate Training;

Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes;

Fraud Risk Management;

Graphic Design.

Services include:

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Training for staff, directors;

Anti-Money Laundering Audits;

Compliance Program drafting; Consulting services and much more

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Are Lawyers required to comply with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in Trinidad and Tobago?:AML Compliance Consultants

According to the CFATF Mutual Evaluation Report June 2016 “there is no evidence that the legal profession complies with AML/CFT measures in Trinidad and Tobago. This is a serious deficiency having regard for the significant role played by these professional as financial intermediaries (gatekeepers) in introducing and facilitating such a large percentage of financial transactions”.

Gatekeepers are professionals who can facilitate the entry of illicit money into the financial system . These professionals include: Accountants, Auditors, Lawyers, Notaries, Company Formation Agents.

In AML CFT terminology, lawyers fall under the umbrella term DNFB-Designated Non Financial Businesses and Professions.

The First Schedule of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) captures lawyers as listed businesses but states that the lawyer is only accountable when performing the following functions on behalf of a client:

a)Buying and selling real estate;

b)Managing of client money, securities and other assets;

c)Management of banking, savings or securities and other assets;

d)Organization of contributions for the creation, operation or management of companies;

e)Creation, operation or management of legal persons or arrangements, and buying and selling of business entities.

Lawyers are susceptible to being used as a conduit to money launderers to facilitate their nefarious purposes.1

It is therefore imperative that local attorneys understand their AML/CFT obligations and comply with the FIU to safeguard their practice and to retain their reputation.

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for Free Anti Money Laundering Training!!!

Which lawyers are at risk?

Sole practitioners, small firms and large firms are all plagued by the risk of being used by money launderers and perpetrators of other financial crimes. A risk assessment ought to be conducted to ensure that measures are put in place that are commensurate with the risks posed by the customer.

What are attorneys required to do?

  • Register with the FIU;
  • Create a Compliance Program;
  • Appoint a Compliance Officer;
  • Submit a Fit and Proper Form for the Compliance Officer to be approved by the FIU;
  • Train staff on the Compliance Program;
  • Receive internal suspicious activity and transaction memos from staff;
  • Report Suspicious Activity in the SAR/STR to the FIU;
  • Undergo Continuous training;
  • Conduct an annual internal review of the Compliance Program;
  • Conduct annual external review of the Compliance Program.

How do money launderers use the legal and professional services  law firms and sole practitioners to launder their funds?

  • Creating corporate vehicles and complex legal entities such as trusts. These obscure the links between the proceeds of crime and the perpetrator.2
  • Buying and selling property can be used in the layering stage, or in the integration stage where the asset is purchased and retained.3
  • Performing financial transactions on behalf of a client (making deposits, issuing cheques, making and receiving wires, buying and selling stock).4
  • Providing financial and tax advice. Criminals may pose as wealthy individuals who need help sheltering wealth from tax.5

The issue of lawyers  providing advice to their client is controversial, as they have a confidential relationship with their clients.6

According to the CFATF Mutual Evaluation Report June 2016 at paragraph 260 “Financial Institutions (FIs) have indicated that they have particular concerns with doing business with real estate entities and lawyers that buy and sell real estate due to concerns that there is inadequate AML/CFT understanding and application of the requirements such as CDD”.

The Evaluators at paragraph 282 of the MER requested that there be collaboration between the FIU and the Law Association to make the legal fraternity aware the AML/CFT legislative requirements as well as their obligations to implement these requirements.

The Evaluators noted at paragraph 317 of the MER that there appears to be a gap in the registration of lawyers. The majority of lawyers opined that they did not qualify for inclusion as a listed business since their services did not fall withAre Lawyers required to comply with Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in Trinidad and Tobago? clearly identify who should be registered.

Penalties

For the offence of Money Laundering, the penalty :

  • On summary conviction,  is  a fine of $10M & to imprisonment for 10 years
  • On Indictment, to a fine of $25M & to imprisonment for 15 years under POCA, S 53 (1)

For the offence of the Financing of Terrorism the penalty,

  • On conviction on indictment for  Individuals $5M & 25 years imprisonment;
  • On summary conviction Legal entities $5M & 5 years imprisonment  under Anti Terrorism Act s 22 A (3) (4) .

When must legal practitioners conduct Customer Due Diligence(CDD)?

When the services provided to the client falls under those services described in the First Schedule of the POCA. This CDD must be applied on a risk sensitive basis when lawyers  establish a “business relationship” with a client, when attorneys carry out an occasional transaction, when they suspect money laundering, when they suspect terrorist financing or when they doubt the veracity of identification documents.7

When must legal practitioners conduct Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD)?

For ongoing matters that present a higher risk of money laundering or terrorist financing, where the client has not been physically present for identification purposes or where the client is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP).8

Kevin Shepherd back in 2002 stated that “Some believe that the special relationship between lawyers and their clients gives lawyers an early inside view into crimes that could make their insights invaluable in the war on domestic and international criminal activity.”9

Lawyers as gatekeepers must start the Know Your Customer (KYC) process. “There is just no other current way of ensuring that the information an Financial Institution (FI) receives is not just a big cobweb of complexities created by a lawyer, helping the customer protect personal identification and corporate ownership information”.10

The time is coming when lawyers will be closely observed by the regulators as powerful and effective gatekeepers. Please get your affairs in order.

About the Author: Antoinette Sydney LLB LEC CAMLFC CFRMP, Bar No. SYA2015211, Attorney at Law. The author is the first Online Lawyer based in Trinidad and Tobago. Her entire Law Practice is based Online using technology. Client meetings are conducted at mutually convenient meeting points. She has clients in Guyana, St Vincent, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands and North America. She specializes in Corporate Law and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance. She helps clients to start their Online Business Empire.

Check out my Online Companies: www.asydneygroup.com

Call/Whatsapp for a quotation 868 373-1166

Blog: https://sydneygroupblog.wordpress.com/

Linked In: https://tt.linkedin.com/in/antoinette-sydney-77093550

Instagram: @asydneygrouptt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydneygrouptt/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8-sUa8WMDJM8w5_Q3nhQ5w

I am a Certified Professional in the following areas:

Taxation;

Corporate Training;

Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes;

Fraud Risk Management;

Graphic Design.

Services include:

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Training for staff, directors;

Anti-Money Laundering Audits;

Compliance Program drafting;

Consulting services and much more.

References

1 – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/criminal-activities/anti-money-laundering-solicitors-front-line-defence

2- 6 http://aml-expert.com/study-notes/Gatekeepers:_Accountants_Auditors_Lawyers_Notaries_Company_Formation_Agents

7-8 https://www.niceactimize.com/blog/Regulation-of-UK-lawyers-as-gatekeepers-for-AML-538

9-10 http://www.cypressresources.com/blog/aml-gatekeepers-engage

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Updated 19th June 2019