WASHINGTON, May 27 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — The Cayman Islands
cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice on two criminal investigations
— including one that began more than seven years ago — culminated in a
special meeting today between senior Cayman and U.S. officials in Washington,
Cayman Islands Chief Justice Anthony Smellie and Attorney General Samuel
Bulgin met with U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and other officials
at the U.S. Department of Justice to exchange funds, stemming from the asset-
sharing agreement as part of Cayman’s Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)
with the U.S.
The Cayman delegation received just over US$1.7 million, the result of the
successful prosecution of the two fraud cases. For the second case, the Cayman
Islands in return presented the U.S. government with US$675,000, to be used as
restitution for the victims of that fraud, which has been successfully
prosecuted and the proceeds confiscated.
“Our relationship with the U.S. and our moral obligations as a member of
the global community to assist in the efforts to combat the scourge of
organised crime and money laundering are of the highest importance to the
Cayman Islands,” said Chief Justice Smellie. He also expressed Cayman’s
appreciation to several members of the Office of International Affairs and
commended the strong working relationship that has developed between the two
Attorney General Bulgin made the following remarks: “The occasion here
today is indeed a reaffirmation of the long history of cooperation between the
U.S. and the Cayman Islands — with able guidance from the U.K. — in the
fight against criminal activities. It is an unequivocal pledge of the Cayman
Islands to continue to cooperate with other countries, including the U.S., in
not only prosecuting the perpetrators, but in confiscating their proceeds of
Since the MLAT’s introduction in 1990, in excess of US$10 million, arising
from some 230 cases in which the two governments have cooperated, has been
shared with the Cayman Islands. Several million dollars have also been
returned to the United States for the restitution of victims of fraud and
The Cayman Islands has an agreement with the U.S. to share any proceeds
from cases in which the two governments cooperated which are not to be
returned, for various reasons, to victims, shareholders or creditors. The MLAT
encourages use of funds for local drug rehabilitation, law enforcement and
justice administration programmes.
The Cayman Islands was the first regionally, and among the first
worldwide, to criminalise the laundering of the proceeds of all serious
crimes, extending such legislation beyond the ambit of drug-money laundering.
The legislation gives the courts of the Cayman Islands power to restrain and
ultimately to forfeit the proceeds of drug trafficking and all other serious
crime, including fraud and official corruption.
In 2003, the Cayman Islands passed a comprehensive piece of anti-terrorism
legislation in addition to adopting, as part of its domestic law, United
Nations Security Council resolutions dealing with the financing of terrorism.
The Cayman Islands Government has been continuously working both
domestically and internationally to maintain a strong regulatory and
compliance framework. Domestically, this includes adherence to the FATF
international anti-money laundering standards and the Basel Committee, IOSCO
and IAIS global standards in the regulation of financial services and updates
to governing legislation.
Internationally, this includes bilateral mutual co-operation arrangements
such as the mutual legal assistance treaty with the U.S. and various
regulatory co-operation arrangements maintained by the Cayman Islands Monetary
The Monetary Authority Law (2003 Revision) vests CIMA with powers to make
licensing, supervisory and enforcement decisions, and to co-operate with
international regulatory authorities.
About the Cayman Islands Financial Services Industry
Building on more than 40 years of steady growth, the Cayman Islands today
is recognised as a sophisticated, mature and diverse financial centre. Over
the past 15 years in particular, the Cayman Islands has focused on two main
objectives: building a world-class specialization of institutional business
and developing strong international cooperation agreements with the U.S. and
other countries. The Cayman Islands financial services industry encompasses
banking, trust services, company services, mutual funds, insurance, vessel
registration, capital markets products and the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange.