The office of the Attorney General, as well as the Royal Grenada Police Force, Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecution, Customs and Excise, Inland Revenue Department, Grenada Airports Authority, Grenada Postal Corporation and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) have all teamed up to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
The agencies have come together under the umbrella known as the Technical Working Group which was officially launched with a Memorandum of Understanding last week Tuesday.
According to Head of the FIU, Superintendent Tafawa Pierre, the initiative originated from recommendation made by the Financial Action Task Force which suggested that a mechanism be instituted at the national level to allow law enforcement and relevant competent authorities to cooperate and coordinate domestically in the fight against money laundering.
“It is well established that no single agency can unilaterally deal with the issues at hand,” said Pierre. “What is therefore required is a multi dimensional approach.”
Pierre noted that each of the parties, which make up the Technical Working group, has a critical role to play.
“What we seek to do is to bring our efforts together to create the appropriate synergy to allow for greater efficiency and effectiveness and ultimately to mitigate against current and impending risk,’ he said.
“We believe that it is essential to formulate an arrangement between the parties through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding so as to provide appropriate guidelines for multi-agency operations, information sharing, and most importantly to ensure that the ideal group remains constant”, he added.
According to Pierre this is absolutely necessary so as to send the right message to the international community that Grenada will spear no effort in playing its part in the global fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Chairman of the group, Attorney General, Cajeton Hood said the co-operation of the public is needed to make the venture a success.
“If you begin to think that we have no terrorist in Grenada, remember that the financial sectors are linked by Information Technology, so someone can remain in whatever part of the world and have a transaction done or pass through Grenada to make it appear to be legitimate and hence we have to be concerned. What happens over there, affects us and we have to prepare for that, so I’m saying that for the benefit of the general public,” he added.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell officially launched the Technical Working Group and is confident that this will encourage investors to the country.
Mitchell’s ruling New National Party (NNP) government is trying to woo investors to Grenada as part of its commitment to build a new economy for the island.