Republic rejects $$ laundering claims
By CLINT CHAN TACK Friday, June 22 2012
REPUBLIC BANK yesterday rejected a report published on June 18 in the Miami Herald which alleged it was involved in a ‘cash for Cuba scam’. In a statement, the bank declared categorically that it had no banking relationship with the person named in the Miami Herald article, Oscar Sanchez.
“Based on the allegations in the case, it would appear that the alleged mastermind used an intricate web of other correspondent banks to disguise the true source of funds so as to avoid detection,” the bank said. Given the current nature of the investigations and the trial, the bank said it cannot comment further on the specific allegations.
The bank declared it is committed to the highest ethical standards and actively supports local and international efforts to counter money laundering. The bank added it has a robust anti-money laundering policy in place. This policy and related procedures are constantly updated to ensure continued relevance and compliance.
The bank said all of its transactions are subject to monitoring and its procedures include electronic checks for suspicious activity. Where such activity is detected, the bank said it cooperates fully with the relevant authorities to maintain the integrity of the local financial system.
The bank said it will not do business, “with any person or business suspected of involvement in money laundering or any type of illegal activity.” At a news conference at the Eric Williams Financial Complex Port-of-Spain to present the Central Bank’s financial stability report for June yesterday, Inspector of Financial Institutions Carl Hiralal said while the Central Bank has taken interest in the matter involving Republic Bank, “there is nothing that comes to our attention at the moment that indicates that the company has not been complying with the AML requirements.”
Explaining that AML guidelines were issued to financial institutions in the country long before AML legislation came into play, Hiralal said those guidelines mirror the 49 plus recommendations provided by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
“The point is that all of them are taking it seriously and all of them are making plans to follow the rules,” he declared.