Jul 05, 2016 News
Guyana has no Anti Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Authority in place. This is according to former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall who stated that there is no Management Committee of the Financial Intelligence Unit and no Financial Intelligent Unit in place.
Nandlall made this disclosure in relation to reports made by Attorney General Basil Williams that Guyana was “cleared to exit Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) regimes” at a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force in Korea.
“These bodies exist on paper only. I am, therefore, amazed that the FATF has been led to believe that Guyana has a “fully operational and effectively functioning Financial Intelligence Unit. Who is responsible for such misinformation?” asked Nandlall. He added that this can cause immeasurable international damage to Guyana.
The Attorney General, Nandlall said, was quick to point out that the coalition Government inherited certain AML/CFT deficiencies from the previous administration.
However, Nandlall made it clear that while the APNU/AFC coalition was in opposition it voted down requisite Bills in the tenth parliament, twice. This aggravated those deficiencies. This, he pointed out, resulted in Guyana being placed into the review process of CFATF and FATF.
The opposition Member of Parliament said that he will reveal this “important fact” every time Williams attempts to hide it.
Nandlall explained that FATF issues a public statement summarizing important decisions it has made in respect of each country that is under its review process after every meeting. He stated that he has carefully examined FATF’s public statement in respect to Guyana.
He noted that nowhere in that statement is it posited, either expressly or by implication, that Guyana was “cleared to exit FATF and CFATF regimes”. In fact, nothing contained in that statement lends itself to such an interpretation, Nandlall asserted.
The MP is of the view that the most perplexing part of the statement reads as follow, “Guyana has substantially addressed its action plan at a technical level, including … (4) Establishing a fully operational and effectively functioning Financial Intelligence Unit.”
The MP said that it is common knowledge that by virtue of the AMLCFT (Amendment) Act 2015, Act No.1 of 2015, the Coalition Government effectively abolished the existing Financial Intelligence Unit and installed in its place a large bureaucratic super-structure.
He said that the structure includes, a 20-member body known as the AMLCFT Authority, 10 of whom are to be appointed by the National Assembly by a simple majority upon the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments, after that committee has consulted with relevant organizations.
It also includes a Committee of Management of the Financial Intelligence Unit which consists of the Director, the Deputy Director and Managers. Both the Director and the Deputy Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit are appointed by the National Assembly by a simple majority on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments.
And the Financial Intelligence Unit which consists of the Director, Deputy Director, Managers, an Attorney- at-Law and an Accountant, both of whom are appointed by the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments and other staff.
According to Nandlall, the National Assembly has made none of the aforementioned appointments. The Parliamentary Committee on Appointments has appointed neither an Attorney-at- Law nor an Accountant.
He added that he is amazed that the FATF has been led to believe that Guyana has a “fully operational and effectively functioning Financial Intelligence Unit.”
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