WILLEMSTAD - Following a report by the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit Curaçao, formerly the MOT) in April 2019, the Public Prosecutors Office made 44 transaction proposals to real estate agents and vehicle traders. The police report was made by FIU as a result of a pilot in which investigations were conducted on real estate agents and car dealers who were not registered with FIU. This registration is mandatory for persons and organizations that fall under the anti-money laundering legislation. Not being registered with FIU results in a criminal offense.
The Public Prosecution Office considers the registration of parties obliged to notify, such as real estate agents and vehicle dealers, very important. The registration is the start of the responsibility of these entrepreneurs to report unusual transactions to the FIU. Conducting client research and reporting unusual transactions are important pillars in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Reports of unusual transactions are essential to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to bring money from the underworld to the upper world.
Nonetheless, after sending out the transaction proposals at the end of April 2019, which involved fines of up to 1500 guilders, many of the parties obliged to notify, still registered with FIU. The Public Prosecutors Office is satisfied with this result. However, there are companies subject to mandatory reporting with FIU, who still have not registered and have not paid for the transaction. These entrepreneurs have received a reminder from the Public Prosecutors Office to pay for the transaction. Ultimately, five companies did not pay for the transaction and did not register with the FIU either. These five companies have been summoned to Court by the Public Prosecutors Office. This concerns two car dealers and three real estate agents.
In addition to these 5 companies that have been summoned, a number of companies have not been reached at all and/or do not appear to exist. These companies are nominated to the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel - KvK) for an investigation to deregister them the Chamber of Commerce.
A positive result of this project is an increase in registrations of companies subject to mandatory reporting with FIU, which also includes companies from other sectors outside this project, such as lawyers, legal and tax service providers and trust services. The FIU, in collaboration with the Public Prosecution Office, will continue to draw attention to the registration with the FIU and the reporting of unusual transactions to the FIU.