Ministry issues reminder on money laundering charges

Date: 
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 18:45

The Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty is warn­ing cit­i­zens not to at­tempt to re­place their ill-gained funds with clean mon­ey as the coun­try tran­si­tions from old to new $100 notes.

In a state­ment is­sued Tues­day, the Min­istry re­mind­ed cit­i­zens of pro­vi­sions of the Pro­ceeds of Crime Act Chap­ter 11:27 as amend­ed.

 

Sec­tion 52 states:

(1) A per­son is guilty of an of­fence if:

a. He knows or sus­pects that an­oth­er per­son is en­gaged in mon­ey laun­der­ing;

b. The in­for­ma­tion or oth­er mat­ter on which that knowl­edge or sus­pi­cion is based, came to his at­ten­tion in the course of his trade, pro­fes­sion, busi­ness or em­ploy­ment; and

c. He does not dis­close the in­for­ma­tion or oth­er mat­ter to a po­lice of­fi­cer as soon as is rea­son­ably prac­ti­ca­ble af­ter it comes to his at­ten­tion.

The state­ment says that a per­son who com­mits an of­fence un­der Sec­tion 52 is li­able on Sum­ma­ry Con­vic­tion to a fine of $250,000 and to im­pris­on­ment for three years.

It says that a per­son em­ployed in the ser­vice of the State as a pub­lic of­fi­cer or on con­tract, who com­mits an of­fence un­der Sec­tion 52, is li­able on Sum­ma­ry Con­vic­tion to a fine of $500,000 and to im­pris­on­ment for five years.

Sec­tion 45 (1) states that a per­son com­mits an of­fence of mon­ey laun­der­ing if:

(1) A per­son who knows or has rea­son­able grounds to sus­pect that prop­er­ty is crim­i­nal prop­er­ty and:

a. en­gages di­rect­ly or in­di­rect­ly in a trans­ac­tion that in­volves that crim­i­nal prop­er­ty; or

b. re­ceives, pos­sess­es, con­ceals, dis­pos­es of, dis­guis­es, trans­fers, brings in­to, or sends out of Trinidad and To­ba­go, that crim­i­nal prop­er­ty; or

c. con­verts, trans­fers or re­moves from Trinidad and To­ba­go that crim­i­nal prop­er­ty.

A per­son who com­mits an of­fence un­der Sec­tion 45 is li­able –

On sum­ma­ry con­vic­tion to a fine of twen­ty-five mil­lion dol­lars ($25,000,000.00) and to im­pris­on­ment for fif­teen (15) years; and

On con­vic­tion on in­dict­ment, to a fine of fifty mil­lion dol­lars ($50,000,000.00) and to im­pris­on­ment for thir­ty (30) years;

A per­son who know­ing­ly at­tempts, aids, abets, con­spires, pro­cures or oth­er­wise fa­cil­i­tates the com­mis­sion of an of­fence un­der Sec­tion 45, com­mits an of­fence and is li­able on con­vic­tion on in­dict­ment to a fine of twen­ty five mil­lion dol­lars ($25,000,000.00) and to im­pris­on­ment for fif­teen (15) years.

 

Sec­tion 38 (1) states:

38. (1) A Cus­toms and Ex­cise Of­fi­cer of the rank of Grade III or high­er, or a Po­lice Of­fi­cer of the rank of Sergeant or high­er, may seize from any per­son and in ac­cor­dance with this sec­tion, de­tain any cash in ac­cor­dance with this sec­tion if its amount is more than the pre­scribed sum.

(1A) A Cus­toms and Ex­cise Of­fi­cer or Po­lice Of­fi­cer re­ferred to in sub­sec­tion (1), may seize and de­tain cash on­ly, where he has rea­son to be­lieve that the cash di­rect­ly or in­di­rect­ly rep­re­sents any per­son’s pro­ceeds of a spec­i­fied of­fence, or is in­tend­ed by any per­son for use in the com­mis­sion of such an of­fence.

The pre­scribed sum re­ferred to is twen­ty thou­sand dol­lars ($20,000.00).

Mon­ey laun­der­ing takes place in many ways in­clud­ing, but not lim­it­ed to, the ex­change of cash from pro­ceeds of crime for goods, eg. jew­el­ry, re­al es­tate, mo­tor ve­hi­cles, large quan­ti­ties of liquor, etc.

Per­sons are warned that to fa­cil­i­tate mon­ey laun­der­ing is a crim­i­nal of­fence and would re­sult in in­di­vid­u­als be­ing sub­ject to crim­i­nal li­a­bil­i­ty.

 

 

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