New financial watchdog unveiled
Monday, January 21, 2008 7:37 AM
MONDAY JAN 21: Members of a group tasked with ensuring that shady or illegal transactions don't pass under the radar have been named.
Finance Minister Paula Cox speaks of the need to detect illegal financial transactions at a press conference, as members of the new Financial Intelligence Agency look on.
Photo by Mark Kennedy
The Attorney General and Justice Minister Kim Wilson, and Finance Minister Paula Cox, unveiled the new five-person Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) at a press conference today.
The group is tasked with gathering information on suspicious transactions of companies or individuals who may be participating in money laundering or terrorist financing activities.
The new independent body will function as a sort of 'clearing house' for Suspicious Activity Reports, according to Ms Wilson.
It will analyze the information in these reports and pass it on to law enforcement agencies, she said.
The members of the agency are: retired police superintendent Sinclair White, who will chair the FIA; Anthony Whaley, a corporate and commercial law attorney with the firm Conyers Dill & Pearman; Greg Wojciechowski, president and CEO of the Bermuda Stock Exchange; Patrick Tannock, executive vice president of ACE Bermuda; and former BMA CEO Cheryl-Ann Lister, who will act as a consultant to the watchdog group.
The FIA is a way for Bermuda to "raise the bar" when it comes to fighting white collar crime in Bermuda as an overseas jurisdiction, Ms Cox said.
The group's existence is the result of legislation passed last year.
Although it will function independent of government influence, it is required to table an annual report to the Legislature.