Matters related to money laundering and financing terrorism should be considered as global issues.

Director of Barbados??? Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Shelley Nicholls-Hunte, made this point clear recently as she addressed a press briefing to announce the signing of a communiqu?? of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre recently.

???Although we have not had evidence to say that the region has been used in a frequent way for terrorist financing, we do realise that any one of our financial systems can be vulnerable and can be used,??? she cautioned.

Noting that the money could be used for ???legitimate means???, Mrs. Nicholls-Hunte warned that any of the region???s financial systems could be used in a particular way. ???It means that we all need to be careful because the global village is as strong as its weakest link, and any country can be a weak link,??? she stated.

She explained that the communiqu?? recognised the significant benefits in information sharing by government agencies at the national, regional and international levels.

In this regard, the document called on members of the Egmont group to seek access to even more sources of information necessary to produce actionable financial intelligence.

It also requires them to expand capacity to produce timely tactical and strategic analysis; expand bilateral and multilateral cooperation; and ensure the removal of legal and other barriers to multilateral information sharing.

Head of the FIU Centre in South Africa, and former Chair of the Egmont Group, Murray Mitchell, also stressed that it was the job of FIUs to track the flow of money that facilitated crime or terrorism around the world.

He explained that one of the issues raised during the 23rd Plenary meeting was that of Islamic State, al-Qaida and other foreign terrorist fighters, who he warned could affect peace and security around the world.

The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units spans across 151 jurisdictions and provides a platform for the secure exchange of financial intelligence on money laundering and terrorist financing.

FIUs are considered as the gateway for sharing financial information domestically and internationally, which is done within an environment of protecting each jurisdiction???s equities in security and confidentiality.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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