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Apr 26, 2016

FIU Conducts Training of Customs Officers

Earlier this year, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Customs and Excise Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding which amended the law in respect of the declaration of currency in excess of ten thousand U.S. dollars. But in order for the Customs Department to enforce the new laws and procedures, the FIU today conducted training for customs officers and other partner agencies that will come in contact with persons and currency transactions. The two-day training started today and Customs Comptroller Victor Recinos told News Five more.


Victor Recinos

Victor Recinos, Comptroller, Customs & Excise Department

“They say the best practice in financials is to know your client or to know your customer. So I think the FIU is just giving tips to look at when the transaction is correct or what would raise a flag might be a genuine transaction in front of you or the money might be coming from a genuine source so that we can feed that information back to them. Financial investigation is not the normal investigation; it takes a while. You have to go through books; you have to look at third parties so to say to detain someone because he has in excess of ten thousand dollars is not the natural way. It takes a long process. So we are at the beginning process of the interview to look at who has the money or what they are declaring, what the circumstances so that we can feed it to the FIU. And they will take it from there and if they figure in the future or right after we have sent the information to intervene and hold the person, they will pursue it or they may pursue in the country where you may be going.  It’s part of our mandate to report currency transactions of people having declared it, but it was never under our mandate to actually be the agent for FIU; it was the Central Bank of Belize and sometimes the Special Branch police or the police itself. But you need to treat people differently when it comes to money. It is not a crime to have the money; not explaining where you get the money from or cannot explain where you get the money from might be a crime.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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