[www.inewsguyana.com] – A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Government of Guyana and the United Kingdom has paved the way for training and mentoring for the staff of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) created by the government to investigate money laundering crimes.
Signing on the government was Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, who said it was remarkable that such an event could occur within the relatively short space of time that SOCU was conceptualised and established to investigate suspected money laundering crimes, prosecuting persons suspected of terrorism and financial offences.
Investigations and prosecution of money laundering activities, Dr. Luncheon said, along with the financing of terrorism crimes, became a matter of concern in Guyana’s mutual evaluation under the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) programme of activities, “and the response was the Special Organised Crime Unit”.
He added that from SOCU’s gestation to the present, certified and verified support by the donor community, the time frame of less than six months, point to how much could be achieved when all work together.
He emphasised to the head of SOCU, Lt Col. Sydney James that his successes will not be measured necessarily in convictions and putting criminals behind bar.
“A different order is required and it is our fervent hope, our expectation that this training that flows from the execution of the memorandum of understanding, and indeed the very existence of SOCU, would indeed give rise to expectations that are met, and that can clearly demonstrate that, yes Guyana is meeting its obligations to its people and its obligations to the rest of the world, when it comes to fighting money laundering and financing of terrorism”.
The agreement will result in significant support from the UK, for SOCU, according to British High Commissioner, Andrew Ayre.
“It is important to us both, that organised crime is tackled, at its root, both in Guyana and outside the confines of Guyana. It is also important, today, because it helps Guyana to fulfill its international obligations under the Financial Action Task Force’s framework”. The High Commissioner also wished the SOCU, “every success” and also thanked the United States Government for supporting the initiative.
This most recent MOU builds on a previous one signed on January 13, for similar assistance.
[Extracted and modified from GINA]