The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been going after delinquent people and businesses who were not complying with the programmes, Finance Minister Larry Howai has said.
In his maiden address Tuesday in the Senate, Howai said the FIU is at work and strengthening its systems.
He was speaking during the debate of the Financial Intelligence Unit and Anti Terrorist Act at the Senate sitting.
Howai said the FIU published in various quarters the requisites for individuals and businesses to follow in terms of complying with FIU requirements.
He said "enforcement action" was taken against a number of entities for not registering with the FIU and not submitting compliance programmes.
"Enforcement at the first level was taken by issuing warning letters to 210 individuals and businesses, this resulted in a positive response from 131 of these individuals and entities to fulfilling their legal obligations and submission of compliance programmes to the FIU," Howai said.
Earlier, Independent Senator Subhas Ramkhelawan questioned whether the FIU had mechanisms in place to deal with money laundering as he noted that no one was convicted of any offence of money laundering to date.
Howai said the FIU "has started to put in place measures which we are hopeful and which we expect over time will address this deficiency, will strengthen its capabilities and powers and will ensure that this deficiency is rectified going forward".
The FIU, he said, has already developed a standard operating procedure with the central authority unit of the Ministry of the Attorney General.
He explained that the standard operating procedure details each party's responsibility in a step- by-step process which will immediately and without delay freeze terrorist funds.
Howai added that the FIU has been performing supervisory functions as evidenced by the fact that it has been examining compliance programmes and conducting on-site inspections to ensure that the sectors it supervises complies with all regulations.
Howai said that this country's annual FIU reports for 2010 and 2011 state that the total amount of money suspected to be involved in money laundering is over TT$700 million.
He said that as long as money laundering and terrorist financing are feasible to criminals, they would continue to play a role in perpetuating crime.