As published on guernseypress.com, Monday 8 August, 2022.
An ongoing case has prompted Guernsey’s Financial Intelligence Unit to sign a memorandum of understanding with the equivalent authority in Bangladesh, making it easier to pass on information about any of the country’s citizens who are resident here.
‘It was felt beneficial to have an MoU signed so that we could cooperate more effectively in respect of this case,’ said the head of Guernsey’s FIU, Adrian Hale.
The information could relate to Bangladeshi citizens in Guernsey being subject to a fraud or the victim of a serious crime or to their being involved in money laundering, he said. No details are being provided while the case continues.
Guernsey’s FIU now has 34 MoUs with countries all around the world, including Nigeria, India, Singapore, Guatemala, Latvia, Italy and Croatia.
The latest addition came after Mr Hale held a bilateral meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart at the 28th Egmont Plenary in Riga, Latvia, last month. This was a gathering of FIUs aimed at ‘facilitating cooperation and intelligence sharing to investigate and prevent money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation financing’.
Face-to-face meetings were also held with other international FIUs to discuss ongoing money laundering investigations being undertaken locally by the newly-formed Economic and Financial Crime Bureau.
‘This plenary saw several hundred financial intelligence experts gather from around the world to talk about the ways in which we ensure we operate in an efficient, effective and modern manner,’ Mr Hale said.
‘The content of the main meeting and the working groups was very fruitful for us in Guernsey as it focused on developing multilateral sharing of information with other FIUs and enhancing the sharing of information with the private sector, using the private-public partnership model which has been adopted by a number of countries. The bailiwick will always take activity of this kind seriously as it is of the utmost importance when it comes to protecting our reputation as a first-class international finance centre.’
Other jurisdictions’ experiences of sharing information with both the public and private sectors gave a valuable insight, he said, as Guernsey is also planning to develop its own PPP for this purpose.
‘Together, the Economic and Financial Crime Bureau and the FIU do an excellent job of protecting the island from people looking to move criminal money into, or through, our financial system,’ said Home Affairs president Deputy Rob Prow.
‘It is always important to work alongside colleagues form around the world in this sector.’