BVI Regulator Fines 'Panama Papers' Law Firm
by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
16 November, 2016
The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission has issued its largest ever fine, to Mossack Fonseca, the firm at the center of the "Panama Papers" leak.
The BVI Government said Mossack Fonseca & Co (BVI) Limited has been fined USD440,000 for contravening "numerous sections of the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code of Practice and BVI Regulatory Code." According to the Government, the fine relates specifically to failures in record keeping, risk assessment, and adequate updating of customer due diligence.
Commenting, BVI Premier and Minister of Finance Orlando Smith said, "Today's enforcement action clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the territory's independent regulator, the seriousness with which it tackles any breaches of its code, and, through the adjustments made to its Risk Assessment Framework, an on-going commitment to strengthening its regime to ensure this remains fit for purpose."
"Achieving this outcome in the face of intense international scrutiny is testament to the FSC's conviction, dedication, and willingness to conduct such a thorough investigation whilst holding to account those who fail to comply with the territory's structure and regulations. Throughout this time, the FSC has co-operated fully with any requests from other international law enforcement agencies who are conducting their own independent investigations and it will continue to do so as this befits its position as regulator of a leading finance center."
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