Marshall Islands To Combat Money Laundering

Friday, June 21, 2002
At a time when the actions of open registries and offshore jurisdictions are under unprecedented scrutiny, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is demonstrating its resolve and commitment to transparency and accountability by accepting an invitation to join the Egmont Group. The Egmont Group is an international network of financial intelligence units set up to promote global communication to prevent and investigate money laundering and the financial background of known and suspected terrorists, including open ship registries, some of which, in the past, have been allegedly involved in dubious financial transactions. The Marshall Islands was invited to join the Egmont Group despite only having enacted anti-money laundering legislation with the Banking (Amendment) Act, 2000, which used the United Nations model provisions as a template. The Marshall Islands has also enforced other regulations to help enforce the Act. These include the establishment of a Domestic Financial Intelligence Unit (DFIU), whose key role is to identify money-laundering activities and pass information to the global community. William Gallagher, President of International Registries Inc (IRI), the administrators of the Marshall Island's open ship register and corporate program said: "The invitation to join the Egmont Group illustrates the global financial community's acceptance that the Marshall Islands has the infrastructure to identify, trace and control dubious financial transactions and to ensure the Marshall Islands well-respected open ship registry is not abused by unidentified parties.

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