Financial Intelligence Unit
PRESENT AND PAST DIRECTORS
12 August 2013 – 31 December 2018
Mr. Reuben Smith severed as the fourth Director of FIU between the period 12 August 2013 and 31 December 2018.
Mr. Smith is a descendant from the island of Long Island, who served on the Royal Bahamas Police Force for almost 43 years, attaining the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner before his retirement in 2007.
During his tenure as a Police Officer, he had the honour of chauffeuring Her Majesty the Queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh during their official visit to The Bahamas in 1977. He was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal (RVM) and is also the recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM), the Police Meritorious Medal and the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal.
Significant accomplishments that occurred during Mr. Smith’s tenure at the FIU include:
11 January 2010 – 22 January 2013
Mr. Reginald Ferguson served as the third Director of FIU Bahamas.
He assumed this position after serving almost 43 years as member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. In November 2009 he retired as Commissioner of Police, having served a long and distinguished career, most of which was at Command levels in the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
During his tenure Mr. Ferguson continued to build on the accomplishments of his predecessor and further strengthened the FIU as a key player in the AML/CFT regime in The Bahamas. While serving as Director, the FIU, in collaboration with the Regulators, issued a Notice regarding “Fraudulent Transfer/Instructions/Internet Fraud” as a result of the increase in these issues in The Bahamas.
1 November 2005 – 31 October 2008
Mr. Johnson is a retired Bahamian professional, who had been employed in the banking and trust sector for approximately 42 years. He was associated with financial institutions, both onshore and offshore, in the public and private sectors, at senior and middle managerial levels, in various areas such as credit and marketing, operations, regulatory oversight, compliance, risk management, money laundering prevention and corporate secretarial functions.
During his career, he participated in many domestic and international conferences, seminars and training programmes directly related to his job functions.
Mr. Johnson holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Dayton and the University of Miami, respectively. Before retiring, he also held membership in a number professional, industry related organizations including the London Institute of Financial Services (IFS), The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the International Compliance Association (ICA) and The Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers (BACO).
Mr. Johnson was an active volunteer in several local, non-profit organizations, including the Drug Action Service, National Drug Council and The Bahamas Beautillion Committee. From 1996 to 2005, he served as Adjunct Lecturer locally at several tertiary level institutions in various business subjects. He is an active member of St. Agnes Anglican Church.
Significant accomplishments that occurred during Mr. Johnson’s tenure at the FIU include:
Mr. Wilton Strachan, QPM, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Retired) has the singular distinction of being the first Director of FIU Bahamas.
Mr. Strachan, from the island of Exuma, in The Bahamas, was selected to head the FIU after a distinguished career spanning 41 years of service of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. His law enforcement career afforded him the opportunity to participate in a wide array of courses in the United States, and the United Kingdom. He is a graduate of the FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia, and he completed the Overseas Command Course at Bramshill Police Staff College in the United Kingdom. He also served on attachment to the Command of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary also in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Strachan served as the Officer in Charge of the First Drug Squad of the Police Force, between 1969 – 1970, and again in the 1980s when the Drug Squad was amalgamated with the Serious Crime Section. Other areas of command include Commandant of the Police College, Assistant Commissioner of Crime, and Senior Assistant Commissioner of Administration, before his appointment as Deputy Commissioner.
After the 1984 Commission on Drug Trafficking through The Bahamas, Mr. Strachan served as a member on the National Task Force Commission, and also served as a member of the National Drug Council. He has attended numerous seminars and was privileged on more than one occasion to be a delegate at the United Nation’s Assembly on Drugs and Psychotropic substances.
In June 2001 Mr. Strachan, as Director of the FIU, travelled as part of a six-member delegation, headed by the Attorney General of The Bahamas, to the Netherlands and made a strong case to the Egmont Group for The Bahamas’ removal from the European Union’s (EU) and the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) blacklist. The delegation was successful in this regard. It was at this time that The Bahamas FIU became the 54th member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, which was indeed a significant accomplishment.
Other significant accomplishments of the FIU that occurred under Mr. Strachan’s tenure include the issuance of Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Transaction Guidelines in December 2001.
Mr. Strachan completed his tenure as Director on 31 December 2003.
1 January 2004 – 31 October 2005,
1 November 2008 – 10 January 2010
Mr. Edward Smith was one of the founding members of FIU Bahamas when it was established in 2000. At the time he was serving as an Assistant Superintendent with the Royal Bahamas Police Force, in the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU), when he was selected along with four (4) other Police Officers to form the Unit. He served in the capacity of Head of Analysis.
Mr. Smith, along with Director Strachan, played an integral role in selecting the FIU’s location at Norfolk House, Fredrick Street, where it still resides. He worked closely with TvT Compliance, out of Switzerland, that was contracted to provide consultancy services to the FIU, to develop its policies and procedures. He was also a point person in discussion with representatives of the United States FIU, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to review the operations of the FIU and to sponsor the application of the FIU to become a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.
During his tenure Mr. Smith severed as a member of the CFATF Team that conducted the Mutual Evaluation of Guyana in 2004.
He was also an active member of the Egmont Group. In June 2004 he was elected Vice Chairman of Egmont Group, Outreach Working Group, and he served in this capacity until February 2010. In June 2006 he was elected as Chairman of the Egmont Group Implementation Sub-Committee. This Sub-Committee managed the transition of the Egmont Group from an informal group to becoming an international entity. The work of this Sub-Committee was concluded in June 2007. He had the distinction of being elected as Co-Representative of the Americas Regional Representative for the Egmont Group and served in this position until he completed his tenure at the FIU.
There is no doubt that during Mr. Smith’s distinguished career at the FIU he was an integral part in many of the significant developments that occurred between 2000 and early 2010. This included selecting staff, upgrading technology, and encouraging staff members to obtain international certifications in AML/CFT. He also signed on behalf of the FIU, numerous memoranda of understanding (MOU) with counterpart FIUs around the world.
Mr. Smith served as Acting Director of the FIU in 2004, and was officially appointed Deputy Director in 2005, a position he held until he resigned in February 2010. He was also appointed Acting Director of the FIU from November 2008 – January 2010.