[www.inewsguyana.com] – President of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Mr. Roger Wilkins, has written to President Donald Ramotar in response to a letter which the President wrote pledging on behalf of Guyana, the Government of Guyana’s high level political commitment to implement the action plan developed between the Government of Guyana and the International Cooperation Review Group.
The letter recognises the high level political commitment which President Ramotar has given to bring Guyana into compliance with the international Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) regime
President Ramotar’s letter was hand delivered by Attorney-General, Mr. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, in Paris, France, in October, 2014.
On the basis of this commitment, and the representations made on the Government’s behalf at the AARG Review Group meetings, instead of being blacklisted by FATF, the FATF has identified Guyana in the public document, “Improving Global AML/CFT Compliance: Ongoing Process”, of October 24, 2014.
The statement available on FAFT website reads:
“In October 2014, Guyana made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and CFATF to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies.
Guyana will work on implementing its action plan to address these deficiencies, including by: (1) adequately criminalising money laundering and terrorist financing; (2) establishing and implementing adequate procedures for the confiscation of assets related to money laundering; (3) establishing and implementing an adequate legal framework for identifying, tracing and freezing terrorist assets; (4) establishing a fully operational and effectively functioning financial intelligence unit; (5) establishing effective measures for customer due diligence and enhancing financial transparency; (6) strengthening suspicious transaction reporting requirements; and (7) implementing an adequate supervisory framework. The FATF encourages Guyana to address its AML/CFT deficiencies by implementing its action plan.”
The Attorney-General is currently leading Guyana’s delegation at the Plenary Meeting XL, and Special Ministerial V Meeting of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in El Salvador.
The Attorney-General updated the Plenary Meeting XL on Guyana’s submission of its Action Plan after collaboration with the American Regional Review Group (ARRG). This Action Plan was submitted and approved by FATF at the Paris meeting, where the high level commitment was given by President Ramotar, pledging Guyana’s commitment to implement this Action Plan.
Guyana was granted until September 2015 to implement the legislative measures and until May 2015 to implement the non legislative measures. This recommendation was accepted at the FATF meeting in Paris.
The Attorney-General further informed the meeting in El Salvador that the non legislative measures are being implemented with dispatch and there is every likelihood that these will be completed long before the May 2015 deadline.
With regards the legislative measures, the Attorney-General pointed out that this is the area which continues to pose tremendous challenges to the Government of Guyana since up until the Paris meeting, the majority comprising the joint opposition in the National Assembly refused to lend their support to the enactment of the AMLCFT (Amendment) Bill 2013 which captures all the requisite legislative measures.
He further pointed out that since the Paris meeting there have been some developments in that Parliament has since been prorogued because the joint opposition was proceeding to move and pass a no-confidence motion which would have resulted in dissolution of Parliament and general elections within three months.
One of the grounds for the prorogation of the Parliament was to offer an opportunity by the President for the Government and the joint opposition to enter into constructive engagements in order to arrive at consensus on a number of national issues including the swift enactment of the AMLCFT (Amendment) Bill.