PUP Challenges the Government to Fix the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act

The Fire Arm Amendment Act (2008), which was instituted in effect to a surge in gun related crimes in the country, will return to the drawing board for revision.  Such law is argued to go far-reaching legislation that runs the risk to impose great severity to law-abiding citizens.

But while Government has pledged to take a closer look at it, there is another amendment that is already receiving similar reviews and that is the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Bill, 2014.

It is a bill intended to ensure compliance with international standards and obligations in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing and is one of the seven bills that was passed in the House of Representatives yesterday and put on the floor at the Senate this morning for further debate.

Senator for the Opposition, Hon. Lisa Shoman made a comprehensive presentation on the party’s concerns as it relates to the Bill.

vlcsnap-2014-02-06-17h59m13s69Hon. Lisa Shoman- Senator of the People’s United Party

 “I assure the Leader of Government business, if the party in government doesn’t fix this legislation, we in the Opposition will find a way to fix it.  This is one situation in which none of us will say, well if you don’t doing anything wrong, you have anything to worry about, because this legislation reaches so far into your life, that whether you do anything or not, you may still be pursued on the basis that you may know something or not, losers or partners, parent and then there is one that I like to call the “mamita clause”.   (Mamita is my grandmother; she is going to be 97 this year; I fully expect my grandmother to live past 100 years because she is that kind of woman) and this is going to affect her.  My 97 year old grandmother is exposed to this.  Tell me what sense that makes.   Seriously, this is the kind of ludicrous nonsense that we have to deal with in ‘mamita clause’.  Also turn the page because if you look at sub (9), you are also coming after close associates, and close associates mean person know to maintain a close business relationship with you.  Does that include the fellows who sit down outside Brads and play Feach or Poker or whatever it is?  Possibly…or to be in a position to be in a position; not to actually do it, but to be in a position to conduct substantial financial transactions; also be person to have beneficial ownership of a legal entity or legal arrangement?  Okey…fair enough.  But then it goes on to say, or any other close business relations with that person.  So, Leader of Government business, that would include anybody who comes to buy at any establishment which you are the beneficial owner, because that is a close business relationship, yu dih buy from me…you are exposed!

The Bill, says Shoman, also points to one’s spouse, partner and children’, in addition, Senior Government or judiciary officials, high ranking officials in the armed forces, senior executives of state owned corporations and politically exposed persons, whether domestic or foreign.  Adding to that list of foreign exposed persons are International Organizations, Ambassadors and Charge d’ Affairs.

Persons who made presentations on the bill include Senator for the Union, Mr. Roy Davis, Senator for the Council of Churches, Reverend Father Noel Leslie, Senator for the Business Community Jose Coye, Government Senator Joy Grant and Leader of Government Business and Senator Godwin Hulse.

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