[www.inewsguyana.com] – Two days after walking out of the Special Committee Meeting on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) says that it is committed to amending the current AML Bill to ensure that it is effective.
The APNU walked out of the meeting on February 3 on the grounds that they did not want the Private Sector Commission (PSC) to observe the proceedings of the meeting.
However, in a press statement issued on Wednesday, February 5, the APNU said that it is committed to engaging the PSC on the issue.
“The APNU is committed to engaging the Government of Guyana, the private sector, civil society, the trade unions and the international community to protect our economy with enforceable Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism laws.”
The statement further noted that the “APNU is committed to ensuring that the Bank of Guyana and the Financial Intelligence Unit are empowered and equipped to fulfill its functions and achieve the objectives of the Act.”
Guyana was blacklisted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) for failing to enact appropriate money laundering legislation in November 2013, after the opposition voted down the Bill in the National assembly, claiming that considerations were ended prematurely by then Chairperson, Government MP Gail Teixeira and that the Bill was incomplete.
CFATF moved to encourage its member countries to consider implementing counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana.
The government had said then that it feared the move would have severely affected Guyana’s credibility in the International Community.
At the Parliament sitting when the Bill was re-committed to the select committee, the Government had stressed the urgency of beginning and completing the work in time for a February review by the French-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in which Guyana could be included.
CFATF itself is expected to review Guyana’s position at its next meeting in May. If Guyana is unable to meet that deadline, the body is expected to hand Guyana over to the Financial Action Task Force for the International Cooperation Review Group’s (ICRG) evaluation to begin.