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Amendment to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention BES Islands Act

Edison Rijna Bonaire Island Governor Edison Rijna Bonaire Island Governor

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - On the 1st of July 2021, an amendment to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) (BES Islands) Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme BES, Wwft BES) came into force that has tightened up the rules. On the 13th of October, the importance of these rules and the most important changes were explained during a one-day seminar. The seminar, which was opened by Lieutenant Governor Rijna, was attended by a large group of entrepreneurs and business representatives.

The Wwft BES is an important instrument in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing on the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (the Caribbean Netherlands). Through the Wwft BES, the government wants to prevent or counteract money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, corruption and other forms of financial and economic crime.

This week, representatives of the Dutch central bank (De Nederlandsche Bank), the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets, the Wwft Supervision Office of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-Netherlands) and the Dean of the Bar Association of The Hague are on Bonaire to explain the stricter rules.

The rules in the Wwft BES apply to a range of businesses, including traders in building materials, property developers, car dealers and financial service providers, such as banks and life insurers. The rules help prevent that criminal funds enter the financial system or terrorism is financed with the aid or by means of these parties.

In his opening speech, the Lieutenant Governor emphasized the importance of combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Money laundering and terrorist financing pose a serious threat to a country’s economy and can impact economic growth. The absence of an effective anti-money laundering policy can have a detrimental effect on both domestic institutions and international trade.

Therefore, to safeguard the economic health and prosperity of the Caribbean Netherlands, it is important to prevent and combat money laundering. More information about the rules and requirements for businesses on Bonaire can be found on the websites of the relevant supervisory authorities and the FIU. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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