[www.inewsguyana.com] – Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams has indicated that Guyana is now on the ‘proper’ legal footing for compliance with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
He told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that “A lot of the ABCE Ambassadors (American, Britain, Canadian and European) have indicated that they feel the passage of the Amendment Act would have done a lot to (Guyana) being fully compliant. This along with the recommendations already laid in the Parliament indicate that we are on a proper footing.”
According to Williams, FATF had written Guyana outlining certain deficiencies that were to be remedied and which would come up for examination at a meeting in October; however prior to this meeting, there would be the Americas Regional Review Group meeting (ARRG) which is scheduled for Thursday, August 27 in Quito, Ecuador.
“I indicated that I would have been unable to attend due to the budget deliberations, so I requested another option. A teleconference was proposed for the same Thursday, which is the same time they have the face-to-face meeting in Quito. If I cannot attend, an officer from the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) will attend”.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act which was passed as part of the Government’s ‘First 100 days in office plan’, along with the accompanying recommendations that were laid over in parliament, were sent to the ARRG.
“These would now provide the framework for the FATF meeting which determines whether you are blacklisted or whether the measures are exacted against a country such as ours. Thursday’s meeting (with the ARRG) would be the next aspect we (Guyana) would have to deal with in the whole process.”
Now that the necessary legislative framework is in place to ensure Guyana is fully compliant with the FATF’s requirements, other steps are being taken to ensure the overall institutional capacity for enforcement is in place.
The additional measures saw the Attorney General attending a Ministerial meeting recently which dealt largely with institutional strengthening and enhancing the capacity of the implementing organization.