**Sen. the Hon. Claire Hepburn
Attorney General**

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, the Hon. Claire Hepburn addressed financial services industry practitioners yesterday at the Financial Intelligence Unit- hosted Seminar on a **National Strategy for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism**. She pointed out that such a strategy will assist in developing clearly identified national goals critical to The Bahamas sustaining its reputation as an internationally recognised, well-regulated financial services jurisdiction.

Referencing the series of legislative and regulatory initiatives enacted by Parliament since 2000, including the Anti-Terrorism Act passed in 2004, the Attorney General noted, * “It is accepted that the first step in the fight against money laundering must be the enactment of effective anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism legislation.”* She said that further legislative amendments may become necessary in the future to address both local and global developments. When determining the need for any such changes, however, the Government’s overriding consideration will be to act in the best interest of The Bahamas and its people.

Sen. Hepburn pointed out that there is an ad hoc “Task Force” which serves to review and make recommendations to the Government on AML/CFT matters at a policy level. Comprised of representatives from various government agencies, the Task Force meets on a monthly basis with special meetings scheduled as necessary. Efforts are underway now to formally establish the Task Force by way of legislative statute, positioning it as an “umbrella” review group.

The FIU had circulated Templates on the National AML/CFT Strategy during June and July and is compiling the feedback from industry, preparatory to finalising its report. Seminar participants were encouraged to complete the templates for return to the FIU as soon as possible. This will enable the Government to move forward with its design of a National AML/CFT Strategy *”which is comprehensive, integrated, coherent and simple with succinct procedures for implementation, based on acceptable international standards and practice,”* the Attorney General said. She added that the proposed National Strategy will provide all relevant parties with measurable goals and outcomes, and clearly identified national goals.