Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern - Haiti
Haitian criminal gangs are engaged in international drug trafficking and other criminal and fraudulent activity, but do not appear to be involved in terrorist financing. While Haiti itself is not a major financial center, regional narcotics and money laundering enterprises utilize Haitian couriers, especially via air hub routes to Central America. Much of the drug trafficking in Haiti, as well as the related money laundering, is connected to the United States. Further, most of the identified money laundering schemes involve significant amounts of U.S. currency. All property confiscations to date have involved significant drug traffickers convicted in the United States.
Foreign currencies comprised 56.9 percent of Haiti’s bank deposits in September 2014, according to the Haitian Central Bank, down slightly from a year earlier.
The weakness of the Haitian judicial system and prosecutorial mechanism continue to leave the country vulnerable to corruption and money laundering, despite improving financial intelligence and enforcement capacity.
Haiti has two operational free trade zones in Ouanaminthe and Carrefour. There are at least 62 casinos in Haiti, the majority unlicensed. Online gaming is illegal.
For additional information focusing on terrorist financing, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found at: //2009-2017.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/
Do FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONs engage in currency transactions related to international narcotics trafficking that include significant amounts of US currency; currency derived from illegal sales in the U.S.; or illegal drug sales that otherwise significantly affect the U.S.: NO
criminalizATION OF money laundering:
“All serious crimes” approach or “list” approach to predicate crimes: List approach
Are legal persons covered: criminally: YES civilly: NO
Know-your-customer (KYC) rules:
Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs: Foreign: NO Domestic: NO
KYC covered entities: Banks, casinos, securities dealers, insurance companies, notaries and attorneys, dealers in jewelry and precious metals, art dealers, real estate agents, automobile dealers, and money remittance institutions
Number of STRs received and time frame: 68: January 1 – November 21, 2014
Number of CTRs received and time frame: 83,632: January 1 - November 21, 2014
STR covered entities: Banks, cooperatives, credit unions, currency exchanges, money order businesses, insurance companies, casinos, real estate firms, and accounting firms
money laundering criminal Prosecutions/convictions:
Prosecutions: 0 in 2014
Convictions: 0 in 2014
Records exchange mechanism:
With U.S.: MLAT: NO Other mechanism: NO
With other governments/jurisdictions: YES
Haiti is a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/index.php/member-countries/d-m/haiti
Enforcement and implementation issues and comments:
In the past year, the Government of Haiti took steps to implement a new AML/CFT regime based on legislation passed in 2013. The legislation expands the obligation of suspicious transaction reporting to non-financial businesses and professions, criminalizes terrorism financing, enables immediate freezing of assets of UN-designated groups or individuals, and allows courts to order seizure of assets for any parties convicted of money laundering or terrorism financing. Implementation of the law is in its early stages.
The country’s financial intelligence unit (FIU), the UCREF, has continued to build its internal capabilities and to do effective casework, including analysis and investigation which led to the arrest of a prominent local businessman on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Continued issues in the judicial sector, however, mean this progress is not yet reflected in conviction rates.
In May 2014, the Executive signed a long-delayed anti-corruption bill that imposes prison sentences of 3-15 years for a host of newly codified crimes, including bribery, embezzlement of public property, illegal procurements, and laundering of proceeds of crime. While implementation remains outstanding, the bill’s passage after years of delay constitutes a strong positive step to try to address public corruption.
The FIU forwarded two cases to the judiciary in 2014. An investigating judge has two months from arrest to compile evidence, but there is no limit to the timeframe to schedule court dates, communicate with investigating agencies and prosecutors, and track financial data, meaning that investigations typically last at least a year.
Haiti should continue to devote resources to building an effective AML/CFT regime, to include continued support to units charged with investigating financial crimes and the development of an information technology system. The 2013 AML/CFT law, despite strengthening the regulatory framework to combat financial crimes, undermines the independence and effectiveness of Haiti’s FIU. The government remains hampered by ineffective and outdated criminal and criminal procedural codes, and by the inability of judges and courts to address cases referred for prosecution. Draft criminal and criminal procedural codes that would address these problems were approved by the Council of Ministers, but are now under review by a presidential commission; after the commission’s approval, the codes will go to Parliament for approval. Haiti also should take steps to establish a program to identify and report the cross-border movement of currency and financial instruments.