NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) held its Virtual 52nd Plenary and Working Group meetings during the period of May 12 to 27, 2021, with Bahamas Attorney General Carl Bethel chairing the plenary on May 27.
The meetings were slated to be held in Trinidad & Tobago, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related travel restrictions, they were held via Zoom.
In attendance at the 52nd plenary meetings and sessions were individuals representing the 25 members of CFATF, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime and Canada and the United Kingdom (representing the COSUNS).
The virtual meetings commenced with the heads of the financial intelligence units (FIU) meeting on May 12, 2021, led by Quinn McCartney, director of The Bahamas’ FIU, as chair.
Through the week of May 17 to 27, meetings were held by the working group on FATF issues, risks, trends and methods working group, CFATF donors’ forum, the steering group and the international cooperation review group.
The plenary meeting was held on May 27, 2021. Amongst matters discussed were: Trinidad & Tobago’s fourth follow-up report; mutual evaluation scheduling report; member follow-up status report; CFATF Mentorship Programme; revised procedures for the fourth round of AML/CFT mutual evaluations; steering group activities; CFATF member FIUs’ update; working group reports — risks, trends and methods group; international cooperation and review group; and the working group on FATF Issues.
The CFATF, under the chairmanship of Bethel, continued to meet the extreme challenges facing the organization’s primary function of conducting mutual evaluations of its members. The CFATF continued to move forward despite the hindrances due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed in the region. its efforts to advance its fourth round mutual evaluations programme will continue with three hybrid (onsite/virtual) member mutual evaluations being completed in 2021.
Bethel, as chair, expects there will be more challenges during 2021 as there are ongoing issues with the COVID-19 environment in which CFATF operates. The CFATF will continue to focus on moving forward with the fourth round mutual evaluations of its members in 2021. Further, resources will be continuing to support the Assessor Mentorship Programme as evidenced by the video sample of online learning modules being developed by in-house staff at CFATF.