UK legal expert John Ringguth, who has extensive experience dealing with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards, addressed Crown Counsel in the Cayman Islands on their role in relation to anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
Held at the George Town Public Library on 23-24 October, the sessions were orchestrated by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and the national coordination team spearheading Cayman’s work to enhance its AML/CFT capabilities. Mr Ringguth has over 40 years of experience as a solicitor and previously provided AML/CFT training in other countries.
‘John’s wealth of knowledge assists the work being carried out by the various Government agencies’, National Coordinator for the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group Elisabeth Lees said. ‘His prior experience educating members of the international community on AML/CFT specifics will allow us to address targeted areas within our framework.
‘In addition to Crown Counsel, John has met with members of the Financial Reporting Authority, the Financial Crimes Unit and the Joint Intelligence Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, all with a view to assisting the proactive investigation and prosecution of cases’, said Ms Lees.
The sessions are part of the work Government is undertaking to help address the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s March 2019 report on Cayman’s AML/CFT regime. The report outlines certain recommended actions to be taken by the Cayman Islands to strengthen its AML/CFT regime. The jurisdiction is under a one-year “Observation Period” by the FATF, ending February 2020, during which it is expected to correct strategic AML/CFT concerns.
Mr Ringguth is familiar with FATF standards having served as the scientific expert to the Council of Europe’s AML/CFT monitoring mechanism, MONEYVAL, since 2016. He also co-chairs the MONEYVAL Working Group on Evaluations that discusses country assessments and policy matters.
‘During the sessions with the prosecutors, we covered some important topics such as the role of prosecutors in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing, the prosecution of legal persons, third party laundering and the development process from intelligence through to investigations and finally prosecutions’, Mr Ringguth said. ‘It was a very interactive session and these local prosecutors offered some useful insights into the work being done in the Cayman Islands and the more proactive approach being undertaken’.