The CariSec Global Anti-Money Laundering & Cybercrime Regional Hybrid Conference, in collaboration with the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI) and the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management (SCHSBM), held at the SCHBSM Conference Centre on Nov 10, 2023, was very successful, achieving the company’s public/private partnership security goal in effectively raising awareness of the catastrophic effects of cybercrime on Small Island Development States, the need to increase regional cybersecurity awareness and cyber risk management and the integration of AML standards recommendations into the business operating security framework, building regional business resilience – securing social and political development and stability.
At the conference, top experts gathered to discuss the alarming connections between cybercrime and money laundering. Sunita Ramsumair, the CFATF Legal Advisor, emphasised that criminal activities like fraud could occur during cybersecurity incidents such as ransomware attacks or funds transfer fraud, which could happen through Business Email Compromise (BEC) accounts. Mr. Dale Joseph, the Cybercrime Policy Specialist at CARICOM IMPACS, highlighted the CARICOM Cyber Security and Cybercrime Action Plan (CCSCAP) and the 11th European Fund projects for building CARICOM’s capacity to fight such crime. Similar cyber and financial crimes were also echoed by David Templeman, Cayman Islands Bureau of Financial Investigation and Tiffany Ramsey, IRS Criminal Investigation, in addition to enhancing cybersecurity postures.
Ms Ramsumair emphasised the importance of complying with FATF standards and discussing the consequences of non-compliance. This includes follow-ups, public statements, and monitoring. She stressed the need for countries to adhere adequately to these standards. The Barbados Attorney General, Hon. Dale Marshall and Candice Huggins, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, further discussed such adherence and achieving AML/CFT compliance in detail during the panel discussion on “AML and its effects of Derisking.” They provided valuable insights and raised the audience’s awareness about AML and compliance, especially surrounding Barbados’ grey and black listings.
Further to her presentation, the matter of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals (DNFBPs) and their AML/CFT compliance supervision was highlighted and excellently expanded by Ms. Kimberley Knight, Attorney-at-law and Head of Anti-Money Laundering Compliance, George Walton Payne & Co., who provide immense awareness, insights and advice on this designation in her presentation. Gerry Kennedy, Observatory Strategic Management, also offered similar characteristics in delivery, discussing the degradation of the rule of law and its impact on litigation due to cyber hygiene.
Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and the need for enhanced transactional monitoring was strongly highlighted by Mr. Keith Downer, Venti Group, in response to reducing financial crime. Cindy Sadaphal, Sagicor Bank (Barbados) Ltd and Ms Ramsumair further enhanced his latter advice, including further discussions on issues relating to AML compliance.
Cyber risk to businesses is a sensitive but crucial topic, and Edward Millington, Managing Director of CariSec Global and Eric Fromm from Trustwave emphasised the importance of implementing robust cyber risk management practices within the financial services sector. Their aim is to minimise business risks and discourage cybercriminals. Moreover, Max Pragnell from IIBRe extended his support by discussing the significance of Cyber Insurance services and litigation support.
Finally, Hallam Hope of Hope Communications Inc. gave a passionate awareness on blockchain and the regulatory and political issues surrounding cryptocurrency business developments.
Through our efforts, we hope to demonstrate the region’s resolve on this international matter, taking the lead in reducing Cybercrime while strengthening AML compliance awareness in the region.