Gov’t agrees with aspects of APNU’s AML amendments – Williams

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By Kurt Campbell

AML Meeting 1
The joint Opposition Political parties and government during AML consultations.

According to Williams, at the last meeting of the Special Select Committee considering the amendments, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel Cecil Dhurjon had presented, in addition to APNU’s amendments, a modified version by the AG.

“Although that was not requested by the committee, APNU on a proper perusal of its provisions was surprised to discover that the government had made a fundamental change in its approach and a major shift towards APNU’s amendments,” Williams added.

APNU Member and Parliamentarian, Basil Williams.
APNU Member and Parliamentarian, Basil Williams.

Williams told reporters that the administration had used its monopoly of the state media and state resources in an attempt to convince the Guyanese people that APNU’s amendments were not inter alia, “CFATF complaint and would cause Guyana to be blacklisted by FATF.”

According to him, the government is now agreeing that there should be an authority having oversight of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and cash above $10M can be seized anywhere in Guyana, if suspected to be the proceeds of serious crime or money laundering.

Williams added “the government however is steadfastly seeking to retain the AG’s power to finger persons and organizations as terrorist or aiders and abettors of terrorist.”

APNU is calling on the administration to complete its shift and have an independent authority, as proposed by the Party and not insist on an authority that it can totally control.

Williams opined that by retaining that power it could lead to great abuse as he maintained that the authority should be autonomous.

Meanwhile, APNU colleague and Shadow Finance Minister Carl Greenidge endorsed the statement by Williams as he expounded on reasons why he APNU was holding tight to its position.

He is confident that the amendments do not conflict with CFATF’s recommendations and the body will find favour with same.

 

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