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AML/CTF compliance in Jamaica


Money laundering and terrorism financing laws in Jamaica?

In Jamaica, money laundering and terrorism financing are considered serious crimes and are regulated by the following laws:


Key obligations reporting entities have under Jamaican laws?

The primary obligations that reporting entities bear under the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) laws in Jamaica are:

  • Customer Due Diligence (CDD): Reporting entities are required to establish and verify the identity of their customers, and where applicable, the beneficial owners.
  • Risk Assessment: Reporting entities must assess the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing associated with their business and implement controls to mitigate these risks.
  • Suspicious Transaction Reporting: If a reporting entity suspects or has reasonable grounds to suspect that funds are the proceeds of a criminal activity, or are related to terrorist financing, it is required to report promptly to the designated authority.
  • Record Keeping: Reporting entities are required to keep all necessary records on transactions, both domestic and international, for at least seven years.
  • Internal Controls and Compliance: Reporting entities must develop and implement internal preventive measures including the appointment of a compliance officer, internal controls, procedures and policies, and regular audits of these systems.
  • Training: Entities must provide appropriate training to their staff to help them recognise and deal with transactions and other activities that may be related to money laundering or terrorist financing.


ML/TF regulators in Jamaica and what functions do they perform?

The regulatory authorities responsible for monitoring money laundering and terrorism financing in Jamaica are:


Industry sectors subject to ML/TF regulations?

The industry sectors regulated under Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) laws in Jamaica include:

Banking and Financial Institutions

This includes commercial banks, credit unions, building societies, and other financial institutions operating in Jamaica.

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Money Services Businesses

Entities engaged in money transmission, currency exchange, and other money services fall within the scope of regulation.

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Casinos and Gaming

The casino and gaming industry, including casinos, gaming lounges, and other betting establishments, are subject to AML/CTF regulations.

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Insurance companies, insurance brokers, and other entities operating in the insurance sector are regulated.

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Entities involved in securities trading, such as broker-dealers, investment advisers, and securities exchanges, are subject to AML/CTF regulations.

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Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs)

This includes lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, dealers in precious metals and stones, and other professionals or businesses providing designated services.


Penalties for non-compliance with AML/CTF laws?

The penalties for non-compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) laws in Jamaica may vary depending on the specific violation and the relevant legislation. However, some potential penalties for non-compliance include:

  • Regulatory Sanctions: Regulators such as the Financial Investigations Division (FID), the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) have the authority to impose administrative sanctions on regulated entities. These sanctions can include warnings, fines, suspension or revocation of licenses, and restrictions on business activities.

  • Criminal Prosecution: Serious violations of AML/CTF laws may result in criminal prosecution. If convicted, individuals may face imprisonment, fines, or both.


Largest fines for non-compliance with AML/CTF laws?

The largest fines for non-compliance with AML/CTF laws in Jamaica are as follows:

  • Bahamian National Case (Jamaica, 2019) - A Bahamian national faced a fine of $1,300,000 or six months imprisonment after pleading guilty to money laundering and cross border movement of cash offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The individual was charged after arriving in Jamaica from the Bahamas and was found to have concealed US$30,000 in a false compartment of his luggage. An additional US$4,771 was found on the individual's person. As part of the sentence, the court ordered the forfeiture of the total cash found, amounting to US$34,771. This case underscores Jamaica's commitment to enforcing anti-money laundering regulations.
  • Donald Sangster International Airport Case (Jamaica, 2016) - On May 4, an individual faced penalties for involvement in criminal activities including conspiracy to commit money laundering, possession of criminal property, and unlawful cross-border movement of funds. The incident took place at the Donald Sangster International Airport, where authorities found USD 101,378 concealed in the individual's luggage and on their person. As a result, the Montego Bay Parish Court fined the offender JMD 705,000 and issued a 36-month imprisonment sentence, demonstrating Jamaica's firm stance against money laundering and related crimes.