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ATTORNEY GENERAL WILKIN SUPPORTS VIRTUAL ASSET (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2024, IN A MOVE TO ENHANCE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING MEASURES

Published 10 May 2024

Buckie Got It, St. Kitts, and Nevis News Source

ATTORNEY GENERAL WILKIN SUPPORTS VIRTUAL ASSET (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2024, IN A MOVE TO ENHANCE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING MEASURES

Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 10, 2024 (SKNIS): Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Honourable Garth Wilkin, strongly supported the Virtual Asset (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which was passed in the Federal Parliament on Friday, May 10, 2024. The Bill aims to strengthen the existing provisions of the Virtual Asset Act, Cap. 21.29.

The amendment, moved through the Federal Parliament by the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, seeks to align the nation’s financial laws with international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing.

AG Wilkin highlighted the urgency and importance of these amendments.


AG Wilkin

“The reason for the continuous amendment, Madam Speaker, is because the world of money laundering and terrorist financing moves very quickly, and therefore, our legislation must continue to evolve as the criminals evolve,” said Attorney General Wilkin.

The 2024 amendment is a critical step in ensuring that St. Kitts and Nevis remains compliant with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines. The FATF is an international body that sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory, and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the international financial system.

“It is very important to ensure that we do not get grey-listed and God forbid, even get blacklisted by the FATF – the international watchdog for anti-money laundering and terrorist financing,” AG Wilkin continued. “So what we have is a suite of legislations and amendments, some of which have been tabled already, some that are coming, so that when we assess in November, we can say to the FATF we are compliant with all of the most recent FATF standards, and that is the simple task of this particular Bill.”

AG Wilkin said that the amendment aims to tighten provisions that regulate virtual assets, which are defined by the FATF as digital representations of value that can be digitally traded, transferred, and used for payment or investment purposes. He added that the legislative effort underscores St. Kitts and Nevis’s commitment to safeguarding its financial system and maintaining its integrity on the global stage.

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