Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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US Embassy – Belize enhancing AML/CFT, strengthening governance

BELIZE CITY, Belize – The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC), in partnership with the US Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Unit and the University of Belize, is hosting Belize’s second annual Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Conference (AML/CFT).

The conference brings together Belizean public and private sector stakeholders in the areas of compliance, regulation, and law enforcement to share best practices on countering money laundering and terrorist financing and dialogue on the role of technology in addressing modern compliance challenges.

US ambassador Michelle Kwan said in her remarks, “The US Government is proud to work with the Financial Intelligence Unit and NAMLC to improve Belize’s efforts in combating transnational criminal organizations by strengthening its compliance and investigation on the AML front.”

Throughout the conference, US, Belizean and international experts will share insights and guidance on topics including civil forfeiture and asset management, unintended consequences of the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force Standards, financial inclusion, public/private collaboration, money laundering indicators and control, money laundering related to environmental crimes, enhanced due diligence, corruption mitigation, tax evasion, navigating regulatory demands and cybercrime, among others.

Minister of home affairs and new growth industries Kareem Musa stated that, “Belize is not immune to the global challenges of financial crime. We face a range of threats that range from sophisticated transnational networks to the possibility of further de-risking. These challenges have real consequences, impacting our economic stability, national security, and the livelihoods of our citizens.” Minister Musa further added that ” as Belize continually reviews and seeks to enhance its operational framework, the AML/CFT/CPF National Policy and Strategy, updated in February 2023 and approved by the cabinet, outlines the key strategies for competent authorities to ensure effective implementation and achievement of their objectives. It emphasizes risk-based supervision, compliance by reporting entities, and both domestic and international cooperation.”

University of Belize president Dr Vincent Palacio underscored:

“Through offering comprehensive training and certification courses, conducting relevant research in the field of banking and finance, and providing a crucial channel through which key policy and regulatory agencies such as the Financial Intelligence Unit and The Financial Services Commission can fulfill their missions, UB is at the forefront of driving national progress.”

Nearly 200 in-person and 300 virtual attendees are participating in the conference hosted by Belizean financial journalist and entrepreneur Kalilah Reynolds and the Executive Director of the Economic Development Council and Director of Public/Private Dialogue in the Office of the Prime Minister of Belize Ishmael Quiroz.

Financial Intelligence Unit Director and Chair of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee Leni Ysaguirre McGann noted, “All of you joining us today have a key role to play in our national efforts. This conference provides a platform for robust discussions on AML/CFT issues that the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee wishes to foster. For this reason, it is truly a milestone that we can host this conference for a second year.”

The conference is supported through ongoing partnership between the United States and Belize to enhance the implementation of Belize’s anti-money laundering laws and strengthen governance.



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