Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern - Haiti

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report

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, primarily via maritime routes. 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 held in financial institutions outside of Haiti or non-financial entities in Haiti, such as restaurants and other small businesses. A great majority of property confiscations to date have involved significant drug traffickers convicted in the United States. Illicit proceeds are also generated from corruption, embezzlement of government funds, smuggling, counterfeiting, kidnappings for ransom, illegal emigration and associated activities, and tax fraud.

Foreign currencies comprised 59.77 percent of Haiti’s bank deposits in August 2015, according to the Haitian Central Bank, a 2.98 percent increase 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: http://www.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

money laundering criminal Prosecutions/convictions:

Prosecutions: 0 in 2015

Convictions: 0 in 2015

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 FATF-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:

The Government of Haiti continues to take steps, such as training staff and coordinating with the nation’s banks, to implement a new AML/CFT regime based on legislation passed in 2013. Implementation of the law is in its early stages. Similarly, in May 2014, the Executive signed a long-delayed anti-corruption bill. After years of delay, the bill’s passage constitutes a positive step to try to address public corruption. Implementation issues remain. Frequent changes in leadership, fear of reprisal at the working level, rumored intervention from the Executive, and a lack of judicial follow-through (prosecutions) make implementation particularly difficult.

The country’s financial intelligence unit (FIU), the UCREF, has continued to build its internal capabilities and to do effective casework. The UCREF has fifteen open cases but has not forwarded any cases to the judiciary in 2015. Continued issues in the judicial sector mean the UCREF’s progress is not yet reflected in conviction rates. Once a case is received an investigating judge has two months from the arrest date 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.

The government remains hampered by ineffective and outdated criminal codes and criminal procedural codes, and by the inability or unwillingness of judges and courts to address cases referred for prosecution. Draft criminal and criminal procedural codes that would address these problems were recently completed by a presidential commission. The codes will be reviewed based on input from judicial authorities throughout Port-au-Prince. The codes must receive the commission’s approval before they go to Parliament for approval.

Haiti should adopt the draft criminal and criminal procedural codes to address noted deficiencies. The government 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. Haiti also should take steps to establish a program to identify and report the cross-border movement of currency and financial instruments. Casinos and other forms of gaming should be regulated and monitored. The Government of Haiti should take steps to combat pervasive corruption at all levels of Haitian government and commerce.