3 Jul 2002

Cooks offshore commissioner looking for additional staff

5:31 pm on 3 July 2002

The Cook Islands Commissioner for Offshore Financial Services is asking for more staff in order to comply with international requirements.

Mathilde Uhrle says to be able to get off the Financial Action Task Force's anti-money laundering blacklist, the Cook Islands must be able to prove that it can regulate and monitor offshore transactions.

Ms Uhrle says the deputy prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Henry, has shown support for additional staff and the matter will go before cabinet this month.

"The process for budgetary allocation will be determined of course by a meeting of Cabinet and then ultimately debated in Parliament, but the Deputy Prime Minister himself has confirmed that he supports additional regulatory staff in my office."

Ms Uhrle says they will require an additional six staff members to be split between her office and a financial intelligence unit.