Amb. Arthur Foulkes

H.E. Arthur Foulkes, former Bahamian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, presented the keynote address at opening ceremonies for the McHari Institute’s 4-month Diploma Programme on Anti-Money Laundering this past weekend. Amb. Foulkes currently serves as the non-resident Ambassador to Cuba and the People’s Republic of China.

Referencing the package of new financial services legislation enacted at the end of 2000, the Ambassador said the implementation of these new laws will help The Bahamas shed any remaining image as a money laundering haven. “Left unchecked, money laundering can erode the integrity of our nation’s – and the world’s – financial institutions”, said Amb. Foulkes. Recognition of this is world-wide, and hence the global efforts currently underway to deal firmly and effectively with increasingly elusive, well-financed and technologically adept criminal organisations. According to Mr. Foulkes, these organisations are determined to use every means available to subvert the global financial systems that are cornerstones of legitimate international commerce. Money laundering is now being viewed as the central dilemma in dealing with all forms of international organised crime, because financial gain means power, which threatens the safety and security of democratic nations.

The McHari Institute’s Vice Chancellor, Dr. Kevin Alcena, said the program – the first of its kind in The Bahamas – has been uniquely designed to provide tax haven jurisdictions and non-tax haven jurisdictions with the “standard” manpower skills required, professionalism, and dexterity in the management of the financial and non-financial institutions regarding anti-money laundering mechanisms. The program complements the efforts of national and international organisations in the fight for all financial jurisdictions to co-operate and harmonise their financial systems to eliminate the weaknesses and avenues available to money launderers through the various establishments, said Dr. Alcena.

Lecturers for the Anti-Money Laundering Programme include high US government officials and major educators, all of whom are thoroughly familiar with their subjects. Among these are high-ranking representatives from the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve Board, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Other guest speakers include Caribbean Government Officials.