Nov 20, 2017 News
…encourages use of ‘Al Capone approach’
Just about half-way through its first term in office, the Coalition government is said to be on the right path in the fight against corruption by tracing the proceeds of crime to the pla¬ces they usually go—land, cash and investments.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Attorney General, Faris Al-Rawi, said he has been working collaboratively and sharing experiences with Guyana’s Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams.
“Your AG [Williams] has an excellent programme because he is very focused on follow the money and anti-corruption; and Guyana has taken some steps that are quite frankly noteworthy in that area, so Guyana is leading the pack in some of these conversations,” Al-Rawi told Kaieteur News during an interview.
The Trinidad Minister of Legal Affairs has taken a tough stance on corruption and has promised a lot more action as they investigate corruption and allegations of corruption under Trinidad’s People’s Partnership government and the present People’s National Movement (PNM)) Government.
Al-Rawi has made similar charges to that of Guyana’s Government which accused the immediate past administration of failing to get anti-corruption cases to the courts.
“My focus is on follow the money so I first attended to my criminal justice system and functionality and I am working on prisons… but the radical approach I have been running for now is; explain your wealth. If you can’t explain it in a court of law you will lose it…civil asset forfeiture and abuse of trusts,” Al-Rawi said.
He also encouraged that Guyana could use the ‘Al Capone approach’ after the way the infamous Chicago gangster was jailed after being convicted of tax evasion in 1931.
“You park proceeds of crime in three areas: cash, businesses and land and you have to focus on those things that I call ‘the Al Capone approach.’ I don’t need to take you down for murder; I will take you down for tax evasion so thinking outside of the box is a critical measure. I am not saying this because I like your AG, but he is in the right direction,” Al-Rawi stated.
He believes that it is critical for Caribbean leaders and technocrats to work together.
Al-Rawi noted the importance of agencies such as the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) which held its 46th plenary session in Guyana last week to examine the strengthening of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes.
“Your present government, certainly from my outside perspective, is following the right path and in this particular environment you will see that there is a serious collaboration in fact it is much more dynamic than CARICOM [Caribbean Community] is,” Al-Rawi stated.
He said each country in the region through CFATF is working to ensure that no stone is left unturned to meet inter-regional requests.
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