By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – “I am angry, I am furious… as a country we did this to ourselves, our parliament did this to us… I’m furious with the irresponsibility of the Parliament to do this to the economy of Guyana.”
This was the reaction of Chairman of the Governance and Security Committee of the Private Sector Captain Gerald Gouveia on learning that Guyana has been officially blacklisted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).
Guyana blacklisted by CFATF as a result of the non – enactment of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill. The Bill was voted down in the National Assembly on November 7 by a majority opposition vote.
According to Gouveia, the move appears to be a deliberate one despite rationales by the Opposition that the Bill was incomplete.
He questioned, “how could they have done this to Guyana, a country that has had a positive trajectory over the last seven years… we were on the move… how could parliament do this and be happy?”
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) member said an emergency meeting is being organized among PSC members for next week to discuss the new development.
“We will be digging deep to find out the objective, the destructive objective of the Parliament.”
Guyana as a member of CFATF – an organization of 29 states in the Caribbean basin – had agreed to implement common counter measures to address the problem of money laundering with time frames for doing same.
Guyana was granted an extra six months in May to pass the Bill and adopt the CFATF recommendations that had been put forward. The PSC had also petitioned the Parliament to pass the amendments however, the opposition maintained that the Bill was incomplete and as such did not support its passage.
The Private Sector Commission following this then petitioned CFATF to give Guyana a further extension to become fully compliant.
Now that Guyana has been blacklisted, financial transactions will come under severe scrutiny, as measures will be taken against banks and other financing outlets.