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Solicitor general says lawyers can seek advice before reporting suspicious clients

Published:Tuesday | March 24, 2015 | 3:46 PM

Solicitor General, Nicole Foster Pusey, says lawyers can seek legal advice before making reports if they are not sure whether transactions involving their clients are criminal.

She made the suggestion as she continued submissions in the Constitutional Court in the suit brought by the Jamaican Bar Association against laws making it mandatory for attorneys to report suspicious activities.

She told the court this morning before making disclosures to the competent authority, lawyers will have to determine whether they believe that the transactions relate to criminal activities.

She adds that lawyers can seek legal advice if they are not certain about the transaction.

The Solicitor General says mere reliance on the banks to report suspicious activities relating to money laundering is not sufficient.

According to her, criminals are using sophisticated means to transact money laundering activities.

And she has pointed to three instances in which lawyers could be exposed to the criminal risks of money laundering.

Foster Pusey said these include the setting up of trust funds; buying and selling of properties; and instances in which lawyers unwittingly deposit money into the accounts of client.