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Formal Warning Issued To PSB For Non-compliance With AML/CFT Act

Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), has issued a formal warning to lawyer Peter S Brinsley (PSB) under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act).

Mr Brinsley failed to meet AML/CFT obligations relating to the establishment, implementation, and maintenance of an AML/CFT programme. An AML/CFT programme is required to address money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with that business. DIA also found that Mr Brinsley failed to conduct on-going customer due diligence and report transactions in accordance with the AML/CFT Act.

“This warning serves as a timely reminder to lawyers, but also to all businesses captured by the AML/CFT Act to ensure that your risk assessment and compliance programmes are up to date and working in practice” says AML/CFT Group Director, Mike Stone.

“The reporting entities we supervise range in size from large organisations to sole traders, such as this case. Regardless of size, all business with obligations under the AML/CFT Act need to comply.”

“New Zealand businesses are the front line of defence in the AML/CFT system and serve a critical role in preventing criminals from exploiting our financial systems and in reporting suspected cases of money laundering and terrorist financing to the Financial Intelligence Unit. We need that information to identify and target those businesses who willingly or recklessly help criminals profit from their crimes.

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“Mr Brinsley had an important responsibility to protect his business and help strengthen our system but he did not meet the standard required. Just like every other business It’s important that sole traders understand that just because they are small, they are not immune to the risk of being manipulated by criminals nor to the monitoring and oversight of the Department.”

DIA does not assert that Mr Brinsley was engaging in money laundering or the financing of terrorism and he is taking active steps to remediate the non-compliance. General guidance and business information as well as a description of the Department’s approach to regulating for AML/CFT is available on the DIA website. Reporting Entities who are supervised by the Department can also access our AML Online Portal which is home to a knowledge hub.

The AML/CFT group also publishes a monthly newsletter with news and updates for reporting entities. Organisations can register to receive this via the DIA website: AML-CFT- News - dia.govt.nz

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