T&T financial intelligence unit cracks down on two private clubs

(Trinidad Express) In a bid to ensure compliance with private members clubs, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has  obtained court orders against two such clubs.

The FIU is the supervising entity of private members clubs.

In a news statement yesterday, the FIU said that on May 8 a judgment was delivered in its favour by Justice Mira Dean-Armorer which directed the New World Members Club Ltd to register with the FIU and develop and implement a written compliance programme in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act and submit same to the FIU in accordance with FIU regulations.

The FIU noted that a similar order was made against Jerry’s Club Ltd on June 10 2014 by Justice Joan Charles.

“The FIU issued directives to both New World Members Club Limited and Jerry’s Club Limited in April 2013. Upon the failure of both members’ clubs to comply with the directives, the FIU, in accordance with Section 18G (8) of the FIU Act, applied to the High Court for orders to compel compliance.

The granting of these orders further enhances the FIU’s efforts to effectively supervise businesses within the sectors listed in the Proceeds of Crime Act and mitigate against the risk of money laundering occurring through these listed business sectors,” it said.

On May 8, Republic Bank Ltd said it was stopping the service of accounts of private members’ clubs operating in the country.

“This decision was taken as a result of the significant impact that this type of industry has on the bank’s compliance requirements. Republic Bank understands that many banks in the country have adopted a similar approach,” the bank had said.

Last year, Finance Minister Larry Howai said data from the Financial Action Task Force showed there were more than 70 private members clubs operating in the country by 2009.

He announced plans to better regulate the gaming industry which he said could realise $300 million in additional taxes for the State.

 

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