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BOJ suspends cambio, remittance licences of Alliance Finance

The Bank of Jamaica has suspended the cambio and remittance operating licences issued to Alliance Finance Limited and Alliance Investment Management Limited which were charged on Thursday by the Financial Investigation Division (FID) for various breaches.
 
The central bank on Friday afternoon said it took action in the wake of the charges.
 
The company operates cambios in Kingston, St. Catherine, Clarendon and Manchester.
 
Alliance Finance is therefore no longer authorised to conduct the business of  buying and selling foreign exchange.
 
Radio Jamaica News earlier reported that the company was charged on  Thursday with breaches of the Bank of Jamaica Act and the Banking Services Act. 
 
A news release issued Thursday night by Alliance Finance said the charges were in connection with the disbursement of loans including insurance premium finance facilities in US dollars. 
 
It said the charges were laid following a question and answer session with Alliance Finance's non-executive directors, Peter Chin and Robert Chin. 
 
Both men are scheduled to appear in court on December 16 to answer to the charges on behalf of the company.
 
However, in a statement on Friday, the FID said Alliance Finance and its principals were also charged with breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
 
According to the FID, Alliance Finance and its president, Peter Chin, were charged with carrying on the business of lending foreign currency without being an authorised dealer. 
 
The charges relate to more than 20 foreign currency loans, totalling US$8 million to various entities.
 
Mr. Chin and Alliance Finance Vice President Robert Chin were charged with breaching the Banking Services Act for accepting deposits without the requisite licence from the Bank of Jamaica. 
 
The FID said the breaches relate to a series of deposits in excess of US$7.5 million from 2014 to 2017.
 
Additionally, Alliance Investment Management was charged with failure to file threshold transaction reports.
 
A report is required for cash transactions of, or exceeding US$15,000 or its equivalent in any other currency.
 
Selvin Hay, Chief Technical Director of the FID, on Friday revealed that in 2018, a search warrant was executed on the offices of companies within the Alliance network.
 
The operation was carried by the FID, the Constabulary Financial Unit and CTOC's Fraud Squad, the Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Agency (MOCA) and the Major Investigation Division (MID).
 
During the search, several financial documents were seized and analysed by the FID and investigators from the Constabulary Financial Unit. 
 
The documents revealed that Alliance Finance and Alliance Investment Management possibly breached the Bank of Jamaica Act, the Banking Service Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act.
 
Following a review of the documents by forensic examiners of the FID, a file was submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a ruling. 
 
A ruling was issued for charges to be laid against the companies and their principals.


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