The Hon. Carl Bethel
Attorney General and Minister of Justice

The Attorney General has advised that the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units has accepted that the national Financial Intelligence Unit is operational, with The Bahamas now officially a member of the Group.

The Egmont Group comprises FIUs around the world, and a full Plenary Session of all existing members must accept application for membership, once an FIU has been certified as being operational.

The Financial Intelligence Unit Act was included in the package of 9 Acts and Regulations coming into force on December 29, 2000. This Act effectively established a Financial Intelligence Unit in The Bahamas.

As defined by the Egmont Group, an FIU is a central, national agency responsible for receiving (and, as permitted, requesting), analysing and disseminating to the competent authorities, disclosures of financial information

(a) concerning suspected proceeds of crime, or
(b) required by national legislation or regulation

in order to counter money laundering.

The Attorney General described the Egmont Group as performing functions in relation to financial crime and global money laundering similar to the activities of Interpol in the global fight against criminal activity.

The Financial Intelligence Unit of The Bahamas has the responsibility to receive, analyse, obtain and disseminate information relating to the proceeds of offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act, 2000.

The Director and several Officers of the FIU, accompanied by the Director of Public Prosecutions, this week have been in attendance at a Plenary Meeting of the Egmont Group in The Hague, Netherlands.