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A lecture on Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing

Reach-Alcance . Photos: Fran Montes

A lecture on Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing at the Garrison Library Gibraltar.

Over 100 people attended a seminar on Anti Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Prevention of Terrorist Financing at the Garrison Library, Gibraltar.

The seminar, organised by barrister Nicholas Gomez who is the head of litigation at local law firm Charles Gomez & Co, was aimed at raising awareness in the private sector and the community at large on the current state of the law and practice in this sensitive area.

Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing

Among the keynote speakers were experts in the field from the Royal Gibraltar Police, the Gibraltar Financial Investigation Unit and the Office of Fair Trade who each dealt with separate topics within the remit of their expertise..

Detective Inspector Thomas Tunbridge spoke about the threats and realities of money laundering in Gibraltar and how to be alive to these problems.

Thomas Tunbridge, RGP Detective Inspector Gibraltar
Thomas Tunbridge, RGP Detective Inspector Gibraltar

Superintendent Edgar Lopez’s talk titled “Combatting Terrorist Financing: The Role of Financial Intelligence through Private / Public Partnerships” highlighted the value of public co-operation in combating Terrorist Financing in a small ,tightly knit jurisdiction like Gibraltar.

Edgar Lopez, Superintendant and Head of Projects at the GFIU Gibraltar
Edgar Lopez, Superintendant and Head of Projects at the GFIU

The CEO of the Office of Fair Trade Francis Muscat, spoke about his own Office’s role in the suppression of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.

Francis Muscat, CEO of the Office of Fair Trade Gibraltar
Francis Muscat, CEO of the Office of Fair Trade Gibraltar

In his presentation titled “Reliance – a trap for the unwary” Nicholas Gomez discussed due diligence requirements in the handling of funds and the risks associated with excessive delegation of functions.

He said that that whilst Money Laundering Reporting Officers are able to place some “reliance” on third parties to carry out due diligence, this does not absolve them of ultimate responsibility and with it the risk of prosecution, regulatory sanctions or civil claims. He referred to recent cases in which the finance centre operatives had fallen foul of stringent legal requirements.

Nicholas Gomez, Barrister at Charles Gomez & Co, Garrison Library - A lecture on Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing
Nicholas Gomez, Barrister at Charles Gomez & Co

He said that that whilst Money Laundering Reporting Officers are able to place some “reliance” on third parties to carry out due diligence, this does not absolve them of ultimate responsibility and with it the risk of prosecution, regulatory sanctions or civil claims. He referred to recent cases in which the finance centre operatives had fallen foul of stringent legal requirements.

The attendees came from over 60 companies in Gibraltar ranging in the insurance sector, banking and finance, estate agents, company set up and trust managers whose questions at the end of the presentations underscored the keen interest that there is in this jurisdiction for ensuring full compliance and efficiency in the battle against money laundering.

Garrison Library, Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing
Garrison Library

Nicholas Gomez said that as an international finance centre of repute Gibraltar must continue to be a standard bearer for best practice and the dissemination of accurate information and analysis of the rules and their implementation was essential towards achieving that aim.

A lecture on Anti-Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing at the Garrison Library Gibraltar.

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