By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General, Basil Williams says the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill (AML/CFT) maybe laid before the National Assembly at its next sitting.
The House is scheduled to meet on June 25; however there is still no certainty as to whether the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) will be a part of Parliament representing close to half of the Guyanese electorate that voted in their favour.
Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall had pointed out what he described as the “lack of information” from the AG’s Chambers as it relates to Guyana amending its AML/CFT Legislation.
He urged for the government to speed up the process and pass the amended Bill, so that Guyana can become compliant with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.
However, Williams told reporters on Friday June 19, that he is hopeful the Bill, which has already been drafted, is laid before the National Assembly on June 25.
“Within a very short time, by the next sitting we hope to lay it…If the Opposition is not in parliament we are confident that it will move swiftly,” said the Attorney General.
He pointed out that “we have completed it…it’s our draft form, the last select committee…we are ready to go.”
Referring to the absence of the PPP/C from Parliament, Williams stated “they (the PPP/C) really didn’t have the political will to pass it so I am not surprised that they will sit out of Parliament until it is passed.”
The APNU+AFC, while in the Opposition had withhold its support for the AML Bill, citing various concerns with the amended version, causing Guyana to miss several deadlines of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.
As a result, Guyana was summarily blacklisted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) – the regional body that deals with financial crimes.