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BVI FSC Newsletter: February 2022

Monday, 28 February, 2022


BVI FSC’s 2022-2024 Strategic Work Plan   

The BVI Financial Services Commission’s (the "Commission") Strategic Work Plan 2022-2024, outlines the organisation’s goals, ensuring that the financial services industry complies with the highest domestic and international regulatory standards and protects the interests of the general public. 


The AML Unit Highlights The Drug Trafficking Offences (Amendment) Act, 2021

The Drug Trafficking Offences (Amendment) Act, 2021 (DTOAA), which came into force on 9th July 2021 amends the Drug Trafficking Act, 1992, the primary legislation, on matters relating to drug money laundering activities. The DTOAA formally identifies the Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) as the sole central institution in the territory responsible for receiving suspicious transactions/ activity reports (STRs/SARs). This eliminates doubt as to where persons must file an STR/SAR, which previously could be filed with either a police officer or the FIA. 

The DTOAA makes it a requirement for an investigating officer or the FIA, where it is considered reasonable to do so, to expand their investigation to establish if a related drug money laundering offence has been committed. This measure ensures that investigations are widened to better protect the territory against drug money laundering activities. Further information disclosed or received by the FIA through its investigation may be disclosed to any law enforcement agency in the territory and any other country to report a possible offence or initiate or aid criminal investigations or proceedings. The DTOAA also expands the FIA’s role in assisting requesting countries seeking to confiscate proceeds of crimes that may be present in the territory. 

The DTOAA also enacts that if a police or customs officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that cash found in the territory is intended for use in drug trafficking, drug money laundering or represents the proceeds of such activity, any officer can seize or detain such regardless of the amount. The DTOAA further strengthens the ability to seize cash imported or exported from the territory where the amount does not fall below the $10,000 threshold and has not been declared to customs.

Licensees should familiarise themselves with the Drug Trafficking Offences (Amendment) Act, 2021, along with all enacted AML/CFT legislation. They are also encouraged to consider these enactments when updating their policies and procedures, engaging in business activities with applicants for business or existing customers and conducting training.

The Commission will continue to highlight amendments to AML/CFT related legislation in future articles. For questions or queries on AML/ CFT matters, please email

Posting Date:
Monday, 28 February, 2022