CARICOM members as well as Associate Members Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos Islands, have recently been the target of the European Union for sanctions as tax havens or for not doing enough to combat money-laundering.
However, CARICOM said in a statement today, that while the Community recognises that global security and financial crime are increasingly intertwined, it supports the work of the FATF and its regional bodies in developing international AML/CFT standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
However in a stout defence of its member states, the regional grouping emphasized that "within the Community, our Member States and Associate Members have expended considerable resources towards achieving compliance with AML/CFT standards."
The CARICOM statement pointed out that "countries in the region have also supported global initiatives led by the OECD Global Forum and have entered the necessary international agreements to facilitate the sharing of information on beneficial ownership."
"CARICOM Associate Members are an integral part of the Caribbean Community family whose circumstances, self-governance and democratic rights should not be disregarded," the statement emphasized.
"In that context, we are deeply concerned about the potential impact on their economies by any impositions that would go against the spirit of democracy and diminish their standard of living. A number of our Associate Members have for some time run successful financial centres that meet the high standards of regulation set by international standard setting bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and OECD Global Forum."
“As opposed to unilateral measures, CARICOM believes it is desirable for members of the FATF and OECD Global Forum to work together to establish new international regulatory standards in areas such as beneficial ownership and tax information exchange. Such co-operation would be in the best interest of all in the pursuit of a more economically prosperous future, underpinned by international institutions, and where all societies, their internal institutions and peoples are respected,” the statement concluded.
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