Staying on the front foot in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is the focus of the Isle of Man Government’s Financial Crime Strategy 2021-23, which is published today.
The document provides a comprehensive overview of the Isle of Man’s current position, including recent policy development, while highlighting the dynamic and evolving threat facing governments around the world.
In his foreword, Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK says:
‘In recent years, the Isle of Man has introduced a large number of measures to strengthen our legislative framework against money laundering and terrorist financing. These have been underpinned by significant investment in financial intelligence, law enforcement and asset recovery.
‘Taking the profit out of crime is a fundamental objective identified by the Financial Action Task Force, the international body tasked with setting and monitoring standards. The Isle of Man has had increasing success in this area . . . and in a number of cases has been able to assist other jurisdictions in returning assets to the victims of financial crime.’
‘The financial and business networks of the Isle of Man are truly international and we cannot be immune to these and other, more established, threats. Those authorities charged with protecting the Island will therefore continue to focus on working closely, using all the tools at their disposal to frustrate criminals seeking to launder the proceeds of crime, wherever possible bringing them to justice and returning assets to victims.’
At the core of the strategy are three National Strategic Objectives, which provide a clear path forward:
- Focus on new and existing money-laundering threats – identify and take measures
- Focus on knowledge and the development of skills to combat identified threats
- Maintain a high level of compliance with the Financial Action Task Force and other relevant standards aimed at tackling money laundering and deliver on international commitments regarding beneficial ownership
These objectives are backed up by a series of indicators against which success will be measured.
This work builds on the foundations laid by the Isle of Man’s two National Risk Assessments of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, published in 2016 and 2020, and the Financial Crime Strategy 2017-2020, published in 2017 in response to recommendations contained within the MONEYVAL Mutual Evaluation of the IoM.
Financial Crime Strategy 2017-2020 Review of Outcomes, which is also published today, looks at the recommended actions from the Financial Crime Strategy 2017-2020 and the outcomes achieved against each one.
Ongoing actions have been carried forward into the new Financial Crime Strategy 2021-23 and include the following areas of focus:
- Undertaking detailed analysis of the data now available on money laundering and terrorist financing, and seeking to expand upon that data where required
- Effectively prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing, and confiscating the proceeds of crime
- Reviewing and modernising aspects of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008
- Identifying, investing in and implementing specialist training to support intelligence gathering, analysis, investigation, prosecution and asset recovery including awareness and use of new technologies and innovative tools and techniques
- Ensuring that knowledge and awareness of anti-money laundering is embedded within the IoM Government using a variety of approaches
- Establishing a programme of work aimed at raising knowledge and awareness of international and domestic bribery and corruption and identification of measures that can help address these threats