PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Minister of Justice, Egbert J. Doran, will be traveling to Antigua on Monday the 25th of November to attend the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Plenary. Minister Doran deems this trip imperative as it allows him to hear from first hand to which extend the legal framework of St. Maarten is in compliance with the FATF binding recommendations. It is his hope to be able to lobby and prevent St. Maarten from getting a public statement from the CFATF Plenary.
A public statement – should the CFATF issue it – means that St. Maarten is considered a country that poses a risk to the international financial system due to its non-compliance with the 40 FATF standards. The Member States are then called upon to take countermeasures or to apply enhanced due diligence measures against St. Maarten.
The Minister hopes to assure CFATF that St. Maarten and the newly installed interim government are fully committed to live up to the FATF standards He plans to clarify that St. Maarten, notwithstanding its limited resources and legislative capacity has implemented a very ambitious legislation trajectory. Only one draft law, the Penal Procedure Code, still has to be approved by Parliament. This piece of legislation, however, is a joint product of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten.
Being that the interim government was sworn in so close to the deadline, it is crucial that Minister Doran attends these meetings with the CFATF and discuss a realistic timeline for this legislation to be implemented. The Minister, together with the Prime Minister, already sent a letter explaining the situation and why the law was not passed. The Council of Ministers also deems it imperative that the Minister of Justice travels to lobby on behalf of the Country in an attempt prevent this public statement from being made.
In closing, the Minister is hopeful that his visit yields positive results as his main objective is to preserve the integrity of St. Maarten.