Money Laundering Bill in limbo, as Opposition pushes consideration of amendments to October

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The passage of amendments to Guyana’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill was on Monday plunged into uncertainty, after the opposition political parties, voted against consideration of a report on the amendments in a special select committee of the National Assembly, the Government Information Agency reported.

GINA quoted  Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh as describing  as “unconscionable”, the move by the Parliamentary Opposition to delay passage of the amendments for the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act required as a result of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) review process.

In making these comments, the Minister was referring to the Opposition’s insistence Monday, to adjourn to October the Committee examining the amendments, thereby destroying any chance of the amendments being passed before the August 10, parliamentary recess.

The Minister pointed out that the Opposition is well aware that in order to achieve the deadline given to Guyana by CFATF, it would be advisable for the amendments to be enacted before the recess. They are also aware of the consequences of non-enactment, making their actions reckless and inimical to the national interest, the Minister stated.

Minister Singh emphasised that the Bill has been in the hands of the Opposition for several months and had benefited from detailed scrutiny in a Special Select Committee that had met nearly 15 times starting from May 8.

The Government has exerted every effort to ensure timely passage of these amendments, Minister Singh stated, and the Opposition has frustrated this objective at every available opportunity, the worst example being today when they used their majority on the Committee to refuse to consider the Committee’s report and instead to adjourn the Committee to October.

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