May 31, 2013 News Comments Off on AFC will not de-link reform from enforcement mechanisms of sister Acts – Moses Nagamootoo
“The AFC will not de-link reform of the AML-CFT from enforcement mechanisms for its sister legislation, the Public Procurement Act and the Integrity Act.”
This assertion was made yesterday by Alliance For Change Vice Chairman and Member of Parliament, Moses Nagamootoo, who said that he patiently awaits the details of what transpired in Managua, Nicaragua – the type of representation made by the Guyana Government, and what progress, if any, has been reported by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in investigating money laundering.
“Though we are committed in the national interest to help our faltering government to keep faith with international obligations, the AFC would be hesitant to expedite passage of laws or reformation of laws when all that happens at the end of the day is that we unleash a hoard of toothless poodles, such as we already have in the name and shape of the Integrity Commission, (which is Headless); the Public Procurement Act, which is devoid of a Constitutional Commission to enforce it, and a Tribunal to review its workings.”
According to Nagamootoo, the FIU, which is headed by Paul Geer, has made no report over several years on the implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act, which came into law in 2009.
Nagamootoo said that Geer must feel compelled to tell the nation whether any person, including politically-exposed individuals, has been investigated for handling proceeds of crime – be it ‘bribe money’, kickbacks for contracts, etc.
Nagamootoo stressed that for the AFC the issue is not simply to reform the law to deal with the burgeoning financial underworld, but on enforcing the law, protecting legitimate businesses and safeguarding the state’s revenue stream. For a start, he said, there is the need to know how many transactions the FIU has undertaken, and whether or not there has been progress in identifying possible sources of contaminated cash.
He further noted that recently it was unearthed in Trinidad that money launderers and drug traffickers were renting the bank accounts from straw persons, who would sell their banking identity documents. The ‘tenants’ reportedly cleaned large sums of money which, in turn, were wired to safe havens overseas.
Nagamootoo questioned whether the FIU could tell the nation if the process of establishing multiple proof of identity of account holders has been completed, so that financial institutions could have a firewall that could insulate them from infiltration by phantom customers.
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