By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira remains cautiously optimistic that the National Assembly will be able to pass the amendments to the Anti-money Laundering and the Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill when it resumes in October.
Teixeira told reporters at the Office of the President on Thursday (September 19) that the August 26 report from Guyana to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has been deemed as incomplete because of country’s inability to pass the amendments into law.
These amendments seek to control and reduce the incidences of money laundering and financing of terrorism in Guyana and by extension the region.
Teixeira, who chairs the parliamentary committee reviewing the Bill said the CFATF continues to demand that Guyana provide a definitive date by which the amended Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Bill will be enacted.
“Guyana has however been commended by CFATF for the implementation of the non – legislative recommendations,” she said, adding that “the Opposition’s behavior does not auger well for the future.”
If Guyana fails to pass the amendments by November, after already missing its first deadline (August 26) it can result in the country being blacklisted from international financial transactions.
Attorney General Anil Nandlall and a delegation had in May, travelled to Nicaragua and attended a meeting organised by CFATF.
Prior to the meeting, Guyana and other Caribbean countries had been given recommendations to execute, among which were certain legislative amendments. The AMLCFT Bill was subsequently crafted, encapsulating all the suggested amendments and laid in the National Assembly.
The Opposition was fully briefed on the recommendations, and the diplomatic community organised a forum which was attended by all the political parties. There presentations were made; and discussions were held updating all present in respect of the recommendations which have to be implemented, and the consequences which are likely to flow if these recommendations were not implemented.