Oct 21, 2014 News
Guyana has made representation to an international body during a critical review of the country’s steps to tackle money laundering and financing of terrorist activists.
According to a Government statement yesterday, the country was represented at the review by Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Anil Nandlall.
He is in Paris, France, for meeting with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG).
According to the statement, Nandlall handed over a Letter of Commitment from President Donald Ramotar to President of the FATF, Roger Wilkins, AO, pledging Guyana’s commitment to ensure that the country implements a regime that meets the requisite international standard.
Guyana’s’ case will continue to be reviewed over the next two days of the plenary session of the meeting, and at the end of that process, the country will know its fate.
“In his presentation, the Attorney General reiterated the country’s commitment to international financial legislation, and reported that an action plan was worked out between Guyana and the Americas Regional Review Group (AARG) in which certain technical deficiencies were identified in Guyana’s AMLCFT regime, and timeframes were agreed upon for these deficiencies to be rectified.”
AML/CFT is the acronym for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), an agreement in which countries around the globe have agreed to stop money from illegal proceeds from entering the financial system.
The Attorney General, the release said, highlighted that a national task force has been established, comprising very high ranking members of government and important stakeholders/agencies of state, and that the national task force is currently reviewing a five-year plan for Guyana’s AMLCFT regime.
“I also highlighted the technical and strategic ongoing assistance which the Government of Guyana continues to receive from the local diplomatic community, including the embassy of the United States, the British and Canadian High Commissions, and the European delegation.”
Guyana’s compliance is critical if it intends to continue doing business with overseas banks, whose home countries have signed on.
Among other things, the members of FATF have to ensure systems are in place to protect its banking systems, with increased checks and requirements at key entities, like money transfers, cambio and insurance companies.
Government tabled amendments to current AML/CFT laws last year but lawmakers from the Opposition refused to pass them, saying that they wanted to study the changes a little more.
The regional body of FATF- the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), late last year advised its member countries in the region to take steps to protect themselves against risks emanating from Guyana.
The proposed legislations which has been in limbo since last year, has left local businesses nervous.
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