By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – On the heels of criticism from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regarding the strengthening of Anti-Money laundering institutions, Attorney General Basil Williams says the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is fully functional.
He told a news conference that the FIU is fully staffed and given the requisite mandate to tackling financial crimes, including the seizure of assets as the need arises.
Regarding this aspect of the process, the Attorney General said that at present there is a lacuna that gives suspects a two day window to move assets or money to a different location, but his office is currently looking to have that process regularized.
With the regularizations, Williams stated that the application to seize assets should come within five days hence correcting the “anomaly” that was present.
“There must really be no delay,” said Williams as he noted the importance of timing in such matters.
FATF says that Guyana should continue to implement its action plan by ensuring and “implementing an adequate legal framework for identifying, tracing and freezing terrorist assets.”
It also recommends that Government ensures there is a fully operational and effectively functioning Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and establishing effective measures for customer due diligence and enhancing financial transparency.
FATF also pointed to the need for implementing an adequate supervisory framework.
As it relates to Guyana’s overall review at FATF, the Attorney General said that Guyana was regarded as “light years away from being blacklisted.”