Press Release

Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade
Release Date:
Friday, 19 April 2024 - 3:11pm

Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour, and Trade, Honourable Lorna Smith, OBE today delivered the keynote address at the special 20th anniversary meeting and conference of ICC FraudNet, highlighting the strong position the Virgin Islands Government takes in relation in the deterrence of fraud and the fight against financial crime.

The conference, which was held at Scrub Island Resort, brought together over 100 attendees from 71 countries, including many of the top asset recovery lawyers and representatives from strategic partner organisations such as GreyList Trace, Mintz, BDO, and Grant Thornton. The event follows the highly successful 10th anniversary event, held a decade ago in the Virgin Islands.

In her address, Honourable Smith reinforced the Virgin Islands Government promise to fight financial crime in all its forms, at a time when such threats faced are growing, with geopolitical instability further exacerbating those risks.

Hon. Smith said: “I am immensely proud that ICC FraudNet chose the Virgin Islands for its 20th anniversary conference. There is no doubt that we face challenges from those with criminal intent who seek to misuse our services. The decision by ICC FraudNet to come to the Virgin Islands reflects our shared responsibility to ensure that financial crime is investigated and prosecuted and that assets lost or stolen are identified and recovered through the courts.”

Hon. Smith reiterated the Virgin Islands Government’s commitment to its robust regulatory regime, and its adherence to the rule of law. She commended the role that industry members and the private sector play in upholding these high standards.

Hon. Smith concluded: “The challenges that financial services centres face have increased with the recent transformative change we have seen in the sector, including in the digital assets area. The Virgin Islands has developed a reputation for agility and innovation, and we are well placed to take advantage of this potential new business. But above all, we acknowledge that high standards of financial integrity and transparency are essential if we are to continue to attract the calibre of business we want, retain our international reputation and drive continued success. This includes leveraging digital tools to enhance our capabilities in detecting and preventing illicit financial activity.”

ICC FraudNet holds a meeting and conference once every six months. To date, the network has held 39 bi-annual meetings and conferences in over 30 different countries.