The public knows very little about the operations of what is supposed to be one of, if not the most, crucial body addressing money laundering in Guyana—the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). While many have noted that this leaves the public at a loss as to the effectiveness of this unit, former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall has pointed to a much bigger issue.
Nandlall told this newspaper that the Caribbean Finance Action Task Force (CFATF) can very well institute penalties on Guyana for the paucity of reports from the FIU. Therse reports are a requirement under the anti-money laundering laws.
Nandlall said that the FIU is supposed to lay reports in the National Assembly on an annual basis. “But, two years after those laws were passed, no reports have been laid and there is no indication that a report is likely to be laid in the near future.”
Nandlall continued, “This will again put us into problem with our compliant regime at the level of CFATF. It is an indication that the system is not being used for the purpose for which it was established and is being used for political nefarious purposes.”
Even before this newspaper solicited a comment from Nandlall about the reporting void at FIU, the unit’s Director Matthew Langevine was contacted. In the past, Langevine had been quite accommodating when questions were posed about operations of the unit. But this time was different.
On Monday last, Langevine answered an initial call made to his cellular phone. He listened to the questions posed to him about the outstanding reports as well as other matters. However, by the time the reporter was finished posing the questions, Langevine realized that he was driving. He committed to retuning a call to the reporter.
Hours went by and the Director failed to honor his commitment. As a result, the reporter tried to call him back. By this point he refused to answer. At least five calls went unanswered.
In the past Langevine was adamant that the lack of public disclosures should not be interpreted to mean that no major work is being done.
Langevine said that the unit is working very hard to execute its mandate. He said that the FIU was involved in stopping one of the biggest money laundering/fraud operations in Guyana. He was speaking about the case of the embattled gold dealer, Saddiqi ‘Bobby’ Rasul. Rasul is being investigated by the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU).
Langevine said that FIU is executing its mandate in submitting reports to SOCU.
FIU reports dating back to 2015 are yet to be laid. Langevine said, in May, that this too will be done shortly. He told this publication that the 2015 report is closer to readiness but the 2016 report which is supposed to be laid in June will most likely be late because the audited statements are still to be collected from the Office of the Auditor General.
Accountant Christopher Ram has said that the public needs to be made aware of the operations of the FIU. Kaieteur News had asked Ram whether he feels that the FIU should be playing a greater role. He said that any opinion could only be based on anecdotal evidence as so far no formal report about the operations of the FIU has been laid.
“It would be difficult to conclude whether (the FIU) has been performing the functions it has been vested with under the legislation.”
However, Ram noted that Guyana, in terms of money laundering compliance, is now in a better grade and “no doubt the FIU would have had a role to play in the country achieving that milestone.”
Ram said that it would be good if reports can be laid even earlier than the law requires. “But once (they are laid) in the time required that would be a good first step. Then the FIU can start producing reports not only on a statuary basis but it can do so more often; maybe quarterly.”
May 28, 2020Says managerial, analytical & listening skills key to Captaincy By Sean Devers Guyana and West Indies cricketer Leon Johnson hails from the Amerindian Village of Aratac in Santa Mission, a...
May 28, 2020
May 28, 2020
May 27, 2020
May 26, 2020
May 26, 2020
Whenever a political party loses an election, there are always implications for the leaders of that party. The APNU and... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Caribbean countries are, once again, being placed in a difficult position as they try to navigate... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]