The Financial Investigations Division (FID) of the Ministry of Finance recently improved the efficiency of reporting under the Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA) with the introduction of an online portal accessed through its website http://www.fid.gov.jm
Effective September 1, 2020 reporting under the TPA to the FID is facilitated via the “goAML” platform. This is an online intelligence system which collects and disseminates data and is a response tool developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) for use by Financial Intelligence Units to better manage financial crimes, including money laundering and terrorist financing.
Previously, reporting would have been largely paper-based making it a tedious process for the reporting entities and the FID’s team of analysts.
Chief Technical Director of the FID, Selvin Hay said, “The goAML platform has been a game changer. The businesses which need to file reports can do so more efficiently, particularly under the TPA. Other types of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) have been facilitated online for some time now and the rates of compliance have been quite encouraging. The FID continues to reach out to the sectors which are less than 100 percent compliant. The online facility should improve the results and we will share those with the public once the analysis of the September reporting period is complete.”
“Online reporting increases the efficiency of the FID’s operation in analysing the data submitted. No longer do we have to comb through boxes of papers and CDs to analyse and submit the reports to our international partners. What was a labourious, painstaking process is now simpler and less stressful than before,” he added.
Hay encouraged businesses which are mandated to file reports to be consistently vigilant of the activities done by their clients which may raise suspicion, “If you notice a transaction or series of transactions which would cause you to raise an eyebrow or question its legality then by all means report it. Filing the report doesn’t mean that the individual (business) is a criminal; it’s just that the activity raises sufficient suspicion that this is not in line with the norms. It is then incumbent on the FID to conduct further investigations.”
The final reporting period under the TPA for this calendar year ends on September 30.