Govt’ willing to ‘tie hands with the devil’ to avoid further delay of AML Bill

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[www.inewsguyana.com] –   Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon is hopeful that the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill will be passed in the National Assembly before Guyana’s review by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in February.

Cabinet Secretary. Dr. Roger Luncheon.
Cabinet Secretary. Dr. Roger Luncheon.

Guyana is currently on a black list by the CFATF for failure to implement the recommendations. In this regard, Dr. Luncheon told reporters at his post cabinet media briefing on Thursday, January 16 that government “is willing to tie hands with the devil to avoid further deterioration” since the current situation can worsen.

“It is worsening as we speak…the Administration is committed to explore with the opposition to have the Bill enacted,” Dr. Luncheon told reporters.

He further explained that to date, the main opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – has not provided the government with any solid explanation as to what is flawed with the current amendments.

According to the Cabinet Secretary, even though there were months of meetings with the opposition at the Select Committee level, Guyana is nowhere close to understanding what issue the APNU has with the Amendments.

At the last sitting of the National Assembly when the Bill was sent 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.

CFATF, at its plenary meeting in November had warned its members to “consider implementing counter measures to their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks” emanating from Guyana.

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