ANTIGUA/ PHILIPSBURG:--- The CFATF held its 50th Plenary Meetings in Antigua from November 24th to November 29th, 2019, and on November 28th, 2019, during the second day of the plenary meetings, the progress of Sint Maarten’s compliance with the international standards of the Financial Task Force was discussed.
The delegation representing Sint Maarten, led by the Minister of Justice Egbert J. Doran was able to inform the gathering of the progress that was made in Sint Maarten after the Mutual Evaluation Report dated January 8th, 2013 on Sint Maarten’s compliance with the international standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing.
In the last 6 years, a total of 11 major laws were introduced to strengthen Sint Maarten’s compliance framework, with 5 of these laws approved by Parliament and entered into force in 2019. The two laws that were recently approved by Parliament namely the National Ordinance amending the Penal Code and the Revision of Book 2 of the Civil Code, were also presented in the plenary meetings in Antigua, in order to convince the CFATF Secretariat of the progress made, and to explain that there can be no doubt that Sint Maarten is committed to the international FATF standards.
However, regretfully these two important laws were not taken into account as the CFATF was not able to peruse and include these in Sint Maarten’s 10th follow up report. As a result of this, the Plenary Meeting decided to issue a Public Statement against Sint Maarten. It has to be noted that the Public Statement did not urge other countries, including CFATF member countries, to impose countermeasures on Sint Maarten. However, this may still take place in May 2020 if Parliament of Sint Maarten does not approve the Penal Procedures Code and correct other deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations.
The Government of Sint Maarten continues to commit itself to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. It also stands ready to work alongside the CFATF in order to exit the third round of mutual evaluations and have the Public Statement revoked during the next plenary meetings that take place next May 2020.
In order to further prepare for the next mutual evaluations that will take place in 2024, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Doran, commits himself to the establishing of a National Anti-Money Laundering Committee in the short term, that will work together with all stakeholders in order to coordinate all efforts regarding the execution of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations in Sint Maarten.
Minister Doran will also promote more participation in the work of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force by Sint Maarten professionals, in order to comply with the international standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.