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Island Luck To Close All Money Transfer Accounts

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter 

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

A MAJOR web shop yesterday said all customer accounts being used for money transmission will be closed following regulatory concerns expressed by the Gaming Minister.

Dirk Simmons, Island Luck’s chief financial officer, said the web shop had acted on its own initiative. “We do not offer a money transfer service; we never intended to offer a money transfer service, and we do not intend to offer the service. This is something that happened organically due to the robustness of our systems,” said Mr Simmons.

His comments come just weeks after Dionisio D’Aguilar, who has ministerial responsibility for gaming, suggested that the Bahamas could again be ‘blacklisted’ through web shops acting as unregulated money transfer businesses.

Mr D’Aguilar also questioned the web shop industry’s Know Your Customer (KYC) scrutiny, suggesting that while they verified client identities and addresses, they did not assess their source of income. Mr Simmons reiterated: “This was purely a proactive decision to align our business offerings with the highest interpretation of the laws that govern our license. Over the past several years we were shutting down accounts actively every month.

“We are now taking a more proactive approach every month. We have now applied systems changes to accomplish the desired effect of having our systems used only for gaming purposes. Going forward, persons will be required to use their Island Luck cards to both deposit and withdraw funds.”

Mr Simmons acknowledged that Island Luck’s move may cause hardship for Family Island-based businesses and residents, who have begun to increasingly use web shops to conduct their regular financial services transactions as commercial banks exited their islands.

“We fully appreciate that this decision may impact Bahamians on our remote Family Islands who do not have access to any commercial banking services, and may rely on our systems to facilitate basic day-to-day commerce to meet their needs,” Mr Simmons said.

“However, we are making this proactive decision to align ourselves with the highest interpretation of the regulatory laws and requirements that govern our license.” 

Mr Simmons added: “We at all times stand ready to assist the Government in any way we can, and we remain open and active in dialogue with the regulatory bodies to find solutions that may be impacted by those decisions.”

While Mr Simmons did not disclose what those solutions might be, Tribune Business has previously reported that the Central Bank earlier this year introduced the Payment Instruments (Oversight) Regulations 2017, which are designed as the supervisory framework for electronic payments solutions and providers.

Island Luck’s chief executive, Sebas Bastian, had previously expressed interest in obtaining a license under this regime.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 6 days ago

These corrupt racketeering thugs will simply continue doing their money laundering and other illegal activities as they have always done, but now more so under the cover of darkness rather than the light of day. After all, cocker roaches just love darkness!

When is Minnis going to grow a pair and spray a good dose of Baygon on these low-life cocker roaches?!

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Reality_Check 1 week, 6 days ago

I know what a cockroach is, but what the hell is a cocker roach?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 6 days ago

A cocker roach is the biggest, ugliest and most detestable of all germ infested roaches. They can frequently be found crawling around the corrupt gaming web shops and at beach parties and street festivals where they pay scantily clad woman to prance about to amuse them and participate in their more disgusting habits.

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JohnDoe 1 week, 5 days ago

Mudda and Alternate Reality how does it feel to ask yourself questions and then answer them or make statements to yourself and then respond to them? There is a name for people that do that you know.

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John 1 week, 6 days ago

When we cut off our noses to spite our faces...persons on the islands have children in Nassau. In schools and colleges and the easiest and quickest way to send money was through the web shops account. Likewise persons is New Providence have families on the islands they support and need to send money to. And there are no banks. Is it illegal to send money throughout the Bahamas? What’s the difference between sending it on Bahamasair or with the mail boat captain. Except that the recipient gets it quicker. How many people have children abroad in college or even family members abroad and they go to the bank every week or every month and put money on dey credit or debit cards... so what’s the difference? Dumb asses!

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John 1 week, 6 days ago

I hope they soon make it illegal for you to pay for someone else's wash or clothes drying at the wash house.. That seems like a good way to rinse money!

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John 1 week, 6 days ago

Or to Top Up someone else's phone even...

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John 1 week, 6 days ago

We all know Really Check and he made a take sick is the same jack rabbit...your veil has worn thin(with ignorance)

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ohdrap4 1 week, 6 days ago

he has multiple personalities and talks to himself.

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realfreethinker 1 week, 6 days ago

well_mudda,reality_check and tell_it are all the same troll. I still think that person is Bran from the DNA

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John 1 week, 6 days ago

Bran has much more common sense than Reality-Check. And Bran is far from being a Sour Grape.

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Alex_Charles 1 week, 6 days ago

People need to understand. The OECD has had a massive problem with that foolishness and so it got the attention of the former Central Bank governor W. Craig that it was underground banking. The reason it was left alone under the last administration was simply that the numbers businesses offered a service on many islands on which banking service was scanty or soon to be non-existent.

IL may say it was of their own initiative (they said the same about the KYC policy too) but I don't believe that. Securities commission has said before that they'd work to put an end to this and it seems that those words I heard are coming true.

That aside I am no fan what so ever of the numbers racket but any who...

I prefer this measure rather than the OECD going nuclear and blocking us from SEPA.

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screwedbahamian 1 week, 5 days ago

Anything addictive or habit forming is usually free and justifiable until you become an addict to the activity. Visiting a webshop to collect money is very temping while there to increase your funds and boom you are hooked.

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DDK 1 week, 5 days ago

That's a first step. Now close all the scum shop doors. With the scum shops out of the picture, the way will be clear for legal banking entities to emerge or re-emerge.

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John 1 week, 5 days ago

The thing is these regulatory bodies and boards (international) have more crime and scandal under their belts than most of the countries and companies or industries they are responsible for regulating. They are known to bring entire economies crashing to the ground. And more often than not their actions are based on false information or ulterior motives. They are trying to put the worlds economy in one basket and under one rule. And the Bible says when you see that happen leave the city and run to the wilderness. It is the marking of the beast.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 5 days ago

It's patently obvious you're corrupt to the core and beholden to one of the numbers' bosses for your supper....and if not you, then a very close member of your family. I truly feel sorry for you my friend.

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