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Grenada hosts training in anti-money laundering processes

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Stakeholders in the public and private sectors are this week receiving training in anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing processes, in preparation for Grenada’s Mutual Evaluation Review next year.

The three-day training is intended to foster a greater understanding of the technical issues associated with the mutual evaluation as well as develop a structure to adequately facilitate the onsite peer review.

The evaluation itself, scheduled for June 2020, will determine Grenada’s technical/legislative compliance and effectiveness with the FATF’s 40 recommendations which focus on anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Delivering remarks on day one of the training session Wednesday, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and National Security, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell said Grenada is committed to ensuring adherence to international standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. He said, “Government for its part, continues to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing. Throughout the years, Grenada has made significant strides in ensuring that the legislative regime is robust, current and in keeping with international standards and serves adequately as the primary tool in the fight against these crimes.”

The Prime Minister cited the passage of various pieces of legislation as also being indicative of Government’s commitment to anti-money laundering. He spoke too of the recent establishment of the operational component of the AML/CTF Commission, facilitating the execution of some functions, such as inspections.

Dr Mitchell applauded the efforts of the lead agencies and stakeholders for their ongoing role in anti-money laundering initiatives and protecting the reputation of the country. He said, “I thank you on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada for your invaluable contribution to protecting the reputation of this country. When the country’s reputation is protected, business prospects are also enhanced.”

The Prime Minister and Minister of National Security singled out the Royal Grenada Police Force for its strong adherence to laws, policies and procedures that protect the country against criminal elements. He also recognised the critical technical support provided by the CFATF over the years and gave assurances of Grenada’s ongoing commitment to the agency.

The AML/CTF Pre-Assessment Training is organised by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), in collaboration with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorist Financing Commission (AML/CTF). The three-day training is funded by the 11th European Development Fund.

Attorney General, Darshan Ramdhani, who is also chair of the AML/CTF Commission and Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Tafawa Pierre also delivered remarks at Wednesday’s opening session.

Office of the Prime Minister

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Caribbean & World

Immigration officers commended by Prime Minister

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Prime Minister and Minister for National Security, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, has commended immigration officers for willingly going above and beyond the call of duty.

Dr Mitchell met with the officers recently to show appreciation for their ability to rise to the occasion, when faced with the significant increase in passport applications at the end of October.

On average, the Immigration and Passport Department receives 40 passport applications daily. However, in the days immediately prior to 31 October, the department received up to 350 applications on a daily basis.

Dr Mitchell was particularly impressed with the initiative of officers who voluntarily worked through consecutive weekends to ensure that passport applications were processed in a timely manner.

He said, “I am aware that you had more than your fair share of work with the recent influx of applicants and I have heard of the immense sacrifices made. It is therefore important to thank you on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada for seeing the need to go the extra mile and to do so without being asked. That kind of initiative and commitment to duty and to serving our people should never go unnoticed. Your efforts are indeed appreciated and I commend your dedication to exemplary service. That type of productivity is what we would like to see replicated across the public service.”

Dr Mitchell also commented on the vast improvements in service delivery by the department. “I know for a fact that the Immigration and Passport Department has moved significantly in terms of service. I recall getting numerous complaints in the past but today, I hear a lot of positive comments about the excellent job you are doing.”

When he delivered the 2020 Budget Speech on Wednesday, the Prime Minister also made specific mention of the excellent service provided by immigration officers, as frontline ambassadors of the country.

Office of the Prime Minister

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Lotto and GTAWU reach agreement 

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada 

  • National Lotteries Authority workers resumed work on Thursday, 21 November
  • GTAWU secured salary adjustments for 2017–2019
  • NLA job analysis and evaluation should be completed by July 2020

All outstanding matters regarding the interest of workers at the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) have been resolved. Workers resumed work as normal on Thursday, 21 November.

From 12 November, employees at the NLA/Lotto were engaged in low-level protest action which was later heightened after they did not receive a favourable response from the Board of Directors led by its Chairman, Devon Charles.

The Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU) demanded that workers be paid salary increases due since 2017; the employment status of 3 employees be regularised, and the appointment of Jodie Alexander who has been acting in a supervisory position for 2 years and 5 months, be confirmed.

The union managed to secure salary adjustments of 3.75% for 2017; 2.5% for 2018 and 3.25% for 2019 which is scheduled to take effect by the end of 2019. In addition, the adjustment for the 3 employees should be completed by 2 December.

Thereafter the board of the NLA will be doing a job analysis and evaluation which should be completed by July 2020, after which the union will commence new negotiations with NLA for 2020 and going forward.

“We want to commend the workers at Lotto for the decisive way in which they addressed this matter. We look forward to a harmonious relationship with Lotto as the workers continue to produce,” said President General of GTAWU, André Lewis.

Prior to the meeting with the Labour Commissioner on Tuesday and Wednesday, workers from all of the NLA’s sub-offices islandwide were seen protesting outside NLA Head Office on the Carenage accompanied by two senior GTAWU members.

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Grenada Tourism Authority hosts secondary school ‘Career Series’

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The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has successfully completed its ‘Career Series’ in 20 secondary schools across the tri-island state.

The GTA team shared with over 500 students in forms three and four, the many career opportunities that the industry has to offer and the important role tourism plays in the economy and their lives.

Presently, the industry employs over 10,000 people and contributes almost a quarter to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through direct and indirect sources. The GTA also partnered with its stakeholders who joined in to share with the students what they do to support the industry. Stakeholders included Tri-Island Chocolate, the Grenada Airports Authority (Air Traffic Control and Meteorological Office), Budget Marine Grenada, Mt Cinnamon Beach Resort, Edwin Frank (Tour Guide) and St James Travel and Tours. The students were keen and asked questions about how they could get into the different career fields.

The Career Series included presentations, videos and role-play to encourage the students to start thinking about a career in tourism such as becoming a tour guide capable of speaking different languages, tour operator, hotel manager, divemaster, chef, marketer, content creator, mixologist among others. One of the roleplays in the presentation was the use of foreign currency in showing how the tourist dollar could circulate and trickle down from a visitor to a restaurant, to a farmer, supermarket worker and then finally to a student.

CEO of the GTA, Patricia Maher joined the team at Westerhall Secondary School to inspire and encourage the students. She told the students, “You may see something unique within your community that you think can become a tourism experience. Remember everyday activities that you enjoy are often times what excites the visitor about the destination. As future contributors to the tourism industry, I encourage you to pursue these ideas, turn them into businesses and cooperatives, to the benefit of your community and country.”

Forming a major part of the Career Series was a discussion on the environment. The GTA debuted a video featuring its tourism mascot ‘Nutasha’ and the ‘Litterbug’ character highlighting the consequences of littering on the environment and tourism. Product Development and Research Manager at the GTA Kirl Hoschtialek said, “We are Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean and we encourage you to become tourism ambassadors by keeping our islands clean.”

The Career Series was a major activity of Tourism Awareness Month being commemorated under the theme “Promoting Careers and Sustainable Livelihoods in Tourism.”

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