…would have triggered Regional and General Elections -Dr. Luncheon
Guyana has again managed to stave off international blacklisting following another review by the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF).
This past week, FATF concluded its most recent review of Guyana’s compliance with the various recommendations made, but despite its shortcomings, the country was granted more time to “put its house in order.”
The announcement came yesterday, when Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon provided an update on the recent meeting in which the Guyana delegation was headed by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall.
In avoiding blacklisting by FATF, Dr. Luncheon announced too that Guyana, at least in the meantime, has avoided having to go to the polls for General and Regional Elections.
According to Dr. Luncheon, President Donald Ramotar had made it pellucid that any untoward decision against Guyana because of the intransigence of the Parliamentary Opposition would have been one of the factors that would have triggered his resolve to return to the polls.
“Guyana has staved off blacklisting, and indeed has not been the subject of any decision by FATF of further blacklisting…Guyana has been provided with time to put its house in order and essentially to conclude its efforts to enact FATF compliant AML/CFT.”
Following the review held in Paris, FATF reminded that Guyana has made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and CFATF to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies.
The body noted that Guyana will work on implementing its action plan to address the deficiencies.
The deficiencies identified by FAFT/CFATF includes adequately criminalizing money laundering and terrorist financing; establishing and implementing adequate procedures for the confiscation of assets related to money laundering; establishing and implementing an adequate legal framework for identifying, tracing and freezing terrorist assets; establishing a fully operational and effectively functioning financial intelligence unit; establishing effective measures for customer due diligence and enhancing financial transparency; strengthening suspicious transaction reporting requirements; and implementing an adequate supervisory framework.
As it relates to the passage of the relevant legislation locally, the amendments to the AML/CFT legislation has been engaging the attention of the political parties in the House at the level of a Special Select Committee.
Fielding questions from media operatives following his post cabinet press engagement, Dr. Luncheon informed that there is a new deadline Guyana is now working towards to enact its legislation among other deficiencies.
He said that in September 2015, Guyana will again come up for review.
Over the course of the deliberations in Paris, 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.
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, and subsequently presented its own amendments which government argued, runs the risk of making the amendments non compliant.
The regional body of FATF- CFATF, late last year advised its member countries in the region to take steps to protect themselves against risks emanating from Guyana.
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