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Banking body ready to assist with probe

Published: 
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Jack Warner

The Bankers’ Association of T&T says it is committed to “working closely” with local and international regulators and law enforcement agencies as the investigation into corruption and bribery charges levelled against Chaguanas West MP and Independent Liberal party leader Jack Warner progresses. 

In a press release yesterday, BATT said it has “taken note of the fact that certain local commercial banks have been named in the indictment against Warner unsealed by the US Department of Justice earlier this week. 

On Wednesday, Warner, along with 13 other Fifa officials, was indicted on racketeering and bribery conspiracy related to his tenure as Fifa vice president and Concacaf and Caribbean Football Union president.

Warner faces a maximum 20 years imprisonment if eventually convicted. His sons Daryan and Daryll face maximum terms of 10 years imprisonment each after pleading guilty to charges of “structuring financial transactions to evade currency reporting requirements.”

Warner is currently on $2.5 million bail after appearing in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court on Wednesday. It is alleged that Warner used local banks and US banks to filter money he obtained through illegal means. 

Yesterday, BATT acknowledged that banks, “as responsible corporate bodies, are committed to co-operating fully with regulatory and law enforcement agencies when engaged on matters of a regulatory, legal and/or criminal nature.”

However, the association said notwithstanding those regulations, BATT and its membership “wish to assure the banking public that customer confidentiality continues to be paramount and the discussion of any matters involving its clientele will not be raised in the public domain.”

It added that the BATT membership remains committed to working with all agencies involved in the Fifa investigation to the extent required as this investigation progresses.

Meanwhile, head of the Financial Intelligence Unit ,Susan Francois, said she was not in a position to comment on the Warner investigation.

The FIU is the local agency charged will monitoring money laundering and other illegal activities within the T&T financial system. 

In a message response, Francois said, “By law the FIU is prohibited from commenting on any matter which may or may not be receiving its attention. We are unable to comment any further.”

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