The Financial Intelligence Unit is reaching out to various agencies that can assist them in cracking down on money laundering cases and incidents. Today inside the office of the Commissioner of Police in Belmopan, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two parties that will now formally have the police officers working closely with the FIU. Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie says that there will be joint investigations and officers will be trained in this area.
“What this MOU will do amongst other things is ensure that we cooperate in terms of investigations. Those investigations can either be initiated from the police and the information passed to the FIU or vice versa. Additionally it will also allow for joint investigations between the FIU and the police. We’ll be able to have additional officers in the FIU to assist with those investigations and likewise we will be able to have additional officers in the FIU to assist with those investigations and likewise the FIU will be able to assign officers to assist us with any investigations. The MOU will also strengthen opportunities for training in terms of the police as well as the FIU. From time to time we’ve had offers from friendly governments for police officers to be involved in these sort of investigations and when we receive those things we will ensure that we offer them to the FIU a space, the FIU will also reciprocate in terms of offers that they may receive for training. They will also be assisting us in terms of in service training within our organization to ensure that our officers are familiar with the anti money laundering laws, the processes of the investigation and those sort of things and we’ll also be assisting them in other areas that they may believe their staff needs to be trained so I think that in terms of the fight against money laundering terrorism financing we have taken a giant step in terms of addressing those issues.”
So, with this formal signing just taking place today; Love News asked what the methods of investigations were prior to this signing, as they relate to money laundering. Commissioner Whylie explains.
“We have them here this morning, three very professional and able women who are attorneys so that makes a big difference when you’re looking at an investigation so that from the very beginning we will start to look at what are the charges we think we should bring and then be able to look at the evidence we need to collect. Looking at our strengths and bringing our strengths together I think will make for more success in the courts. I also want to say that the DPP has been working with us very closely. I’ve reached out to her and she’s been very supportive so that is another side of what we are doing making sure that we are all together on dealing with these issues and also to point out that the investigations will become more complex. If you’ve been noticing on the news every day it’s something new so we know we have to work together.”
Ambassador Joy Grant who heads the Financial Intelligence Unit spoke of the human resources available at the FIU and their ability in collecting evidence for successful prosecutions.
“Where we had cases where we believe that money laundering or some illegal activity may have occurred we would normally inform the FIU, we’d hand over whatever information we have and basically that was it. Since they were primarily responsible for such once we have passed that along then they take it from there. The difference now I believe is that we’ll be seeing more sharing of information, more joint investigation so it won’t be just us passing to them and then it remains with them. There will be ownership by both organizations.”
The signing was done on the theme of strengthening domestic cooperation against money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.