In a press statement issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office Friday found car dealers on St. Maarten to have failed to report deals made with some clients on the sale and purchasing of vehicles that should have been reported as unusual transaction. The Public Prosecutor’s office agreed to an out of court settlement with the dealers. The full text of the report is hereafter published:
The public Prosecutor’s Office has reached an out of court settlement with two dealers for failure to report unusual transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit.
During the investigation in 2016, a total of 11 vehicles were seized by the RST Kingdom Police Task Fore, under the direction of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. These vehicles were leased by one of the two car dealership to a number of clients.
By investigating the paper trail regarding these leases, it has come to light that this car dealership failed to report some of the financial transactions regarding the lease of these vehicles as unusual. In the course of the investigation further transactions came to light relating to another car dealership that should have been reported.
Reporting of unusual transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit (MOT) is obligated by law and aims to prevent criminal money, findings its way into legitimate businesses. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, these transactions should have been reported by the car dealerships to the Financial Intelligence Unit based on the applicable laws and regulations.
The car dealerships have agreed to pay a fine of USD 50,000 and USD 25,000 respectively to the public Prosecutor’s office. One of the dealerships waived its rights to the 11 vehicles that were sized in 2016.
The out of court settlement was reached because the car dealerships have shown to the Public Prosecutor’s Office that they have improved their internal procedures and staff awareness with regards to identifying and reporting of such unusual transactions. The prosecutor’s Office claims that Taking the case to court would serve no purpose, as the car dealership have expressed their willingness to continue to improve their internal procedures and work together with the Financial Intelligence Unit (MOT) and the Public prosecutor’s Office on issues such as these.
The vehicles were sold in 2016 and proceeds given to Country St. Maarten.