The Registrar of Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) is advising charitable entities in the Cayman Islands to protect against fraudulent activities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In particular, the Registrar is warning against falling victim to medical and false advertising scams, illicit investment opportunities, phishing schemes, and fundraisers for illegitimate NPOs. The Registrar, which falls under the General Registry department within the Ministry of Financial Services, issued its advice in accordance with a recent statement by the Financial Action Task Force, the global regulatory body for anti-money laundering, counter-financing of terrorism, and counter proliferation financing measures.
‘The Registrar recognises that there is an increased potential for criminals to use COVID-19 to prey on innocent victims, in order to carry out financial fraud and exploitation scams’, said Paul Inniss, the Head of Compliance for General Registry. ‘NPOs must use credible sources of information and take extreme care when engaging with either local or international entities as COVID-19 offers an opportunity for terrorist organisations to raise funds’, he said.
Mr Inniss went on to say that NPOs are further reminded that charitable donations and associated activities should only be conducted through legitimate transparent banking and delivery channels. While some NPOs may provide support to individuals located in high-risk jurisdictions, it is incumbent on all NPOs to conduct appropriate documented due diligence on beneficiaries, delivery channels, and related infrastructure as well as implement sufficient risk mitigation measures.
NPOs can learn more about prudent corporate governance principles by visiting the General Registry website.