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Bermuda praised in anti-money laundering review

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Bermuda has some of the highest international standards in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, according to the results of an intensive review.

The island's regulatory regime was assessed by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), and the global inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which ranked Bermuda as a first against the FATF's technical compliance requirements.

It comes just over two years after the Paradise Papers leaked the offshore investment details of over 120,000 people and companies, originating from law firm Appleby. Last year, the Bermuda Monetary Authority fined Estera Services - which separated from Appleby in 2016 - $500,000 for failing to comply with anti-money laundering legislation.

Bermuda’s Minister of Finance, Curtis Dickinson, said in a statement “The Bermuda Government has on many occasions highlighted its commitment to a high level of compliance with appropriate global standards. As our results indicate, we have followed through on that commitment and established appropriate legislative and operational frameworks to ensure our regime is robust and effective. The results of this report confirm that Bermuda knows what it is doing and does it well.”

Roland Andy Burrows, CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, added in a statement, “Our blue-chip reputation is something that has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of the Bermuda government, the regulator and industry working together.”

The FATF mutual evaluation is an intensive process and takes 14 months to complete. Bermuda’s review began in March 2018 with its first submission in relation to technical compliance. Further submissions were made during the subsequent six months and were followed by an on-site review.

The visit lasted for two weeks and included interviews with relevant authorities including the Bermuda Police Service, Customs, the Financial Intelligence Agency, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Department of Public Prosecutions, the Bermuda Casino and Gaming Commission, the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the Registrar of Companies, the Registrar General, the Barristers and Accountants AML/ATF Board , the Office of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee and the Ministries of Finance and Legal Affairs.

This report originally appeared in Reactions.