AML (Anti-Money Laundering) measures – one of the main aspects of gambling companies' operation and a compulsory requirement of gambling regulators. The key institution coordinating necessary documents reception, analyzing and spreading information in terms of money laundering is the Financial Intelligence Unit. The material by Login Casino is dedicated to the interaction between FIU and gambling companies.
The modern gambling market has several significant trends – focus on users’ rights protection, increased pace of online segment development and restricted nature of the interaction between businesses and states (e.g. gambling ad banning trend and online gambling spending limitation).
In spite of the fact that any market is a self-regulating system, the role of state and international authorities should not be underestimated. AML measures, especially if these funds might be used for financing terrorism, are of key importance for the government of any country. Therefore, FIU is the national center supervising this issue.
Gambling business is pretty often mentioned as a means of money laundering, that is why such companies attract the growing interest of state authorities. These firms, in turn, are to extend their fullest cooperation with FIU in revealing cases of money laundering and monitoring suspicious transactions. Special features of such a unit are outlined in the article below based on Curaçao jurisdiction.
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Financial Intelligence Unit: brief overview
All the states are recommended to create the Financial Intelligence Unit. FIU is the center of reception and analysis: reports about suspicious financial transactions as well as any other information connected with money laundering. Besides, FIU’s results of work should be made public and provided to related organizations and entities.
FIU must have the possibility to request additional information as well as get access to financial, administrative and law enforcement authorities’ data, in case it is required by FIU’s operation.
Countries are supposed to exchange valuable information in terms of cooperation and interaction between their FIUs. Operating principles, as well as mechanisms of transferring information, are outlined in recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).
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There are four basic FIU models – judicial, law-enforcement, administrative and hybrid.
The judicial model is used in terms of the corresponding branch of the government’s operation. Investigative authorities are occupied with financial crimes. Judicial power provides the possibility to confiscate funds, freeze accounts as well as to conduct interrogations, searches and detention of people.
The law-enforcement model includes AML measures combined with already existing law-enforcement systems. Sometimes FIU becomes the coordinating element in the system of law enforcement or judicial authorities with competitive jurisdictional power in investigating AML cases.
The administrative model illustrates the work of an independent body occupied with processing financial data while the responsibility for solving crimes is imposed on law-enforcement and judicial authorities. In terms of this model, FIU is a buffer between the financial and law-enforcement communities.
The hybrid model implies that the Financial Intelligence Unit is a mediator between judicial and law enforcement authorities regarding the issue of receiving information.
Curaçao Financial Intelligence Unit
Curaçao, as a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, interacts with other states in terms of FATF. According to the FATF recommendation #26, countries must form financial intelligence units, which will serve as a national center.
The unit used to be marked with the abbreviation MOT (Meldpunt Ongebruikelijke Transacties) – a center that records data about unusual operations or a Reporting Center. At the international level, the center was widely known as the Curaçao Financial Intelligence Unit.
However, the latest legislative amendments suggested changing the body’s name for Financiele Inlichtingen Eenheid.
Curaçao FIU is under the direct supervision of the Minister of Finances. The body works in accordance with the FIU administrative model, therefore, in case any suspicious transactions are revealed, the data are transferred to prosecuting authorities. In fact, the structure is a kind of buffer between accountable companies and the prosecutor’s office. It provides transferring information received from accountable companies, within reasonable limits.
Competence and mission
Curaçao FIU’s Mission:
- support the financial system integrity;
- make an appropriate contribution at the national as well as international levels and in order to prevent money laundering and financial terrorism;
- spread information about suspicious transactions;
- create a wide network of exchanging information on measures, technological enhancement and analysis with foreign centers;
- developing AML methods and combating criminal activity, which is its background.
Besides, Curaçao’s unit is obliged to provide assistance to other bodies of that kind, namely the Financial Intelligence Unit of the US central region and that of the Caribbean countries.
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The head of the unit is responsible for forming general policy and strategic management of the organization, supervision, planning and communication with the press. Besides, he/she controls special projects operation. The manager can be dismissed based on the council’s decision or upon the initiative of the Minister of Finance if this decision has been coordinated with the Minister of Justice.
The reporting center consists of four departments: legal, political, communication department as well as that of analysis, monitoring and informational technologies.
Gambling and Curaçao FIU
Companies providing financial and non-financial services, including gambling firms, are accountable to the unit. FIU is responsible for taking steps to identify users and conducting proper control over money laundering issues and terrorism financing.
The unit works closely with two structures – Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten and the Curaçao Gaming Control Board.
All gambling companies are obliged to get registered in the FIU oversight department. The application form can be filled out on the website, the document is available in two languages – English and Dutch.
The structure informs accountable organizations about their duties via seminars, meetings, brochures as well as annual reports and during inspections of the oversight department.
In case gambling companies fail to fulfill their obligations to FIU, the organization must send an explanatory appeal. If the violation is repeated, the unit can impose a penalty for non-compliance, an administrative fine and/or make this information public.
As mentioned earlier, the government of Great Britain made the Football Association conduct a review of its betting rights deals.