Oil & Gas sector a new area of threat for money laundering in Guyana

The installation of the first subsea tree

Guyana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector has been marked critical for the monitoring of money laundering, as the country prepares for its fourth round of mutual evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

This is according to the National Risk Assessment (NRA) Coordinator, Alicia Williams, who was speaking at a Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing National Risk Assessment Seminar today at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown.

“Guyana is preparing for its fourth round of mutual evaluation which is scheduled for 2023, that is, the first quarter of 2023. This NRA that is the new national risk assessment will be conducted by a working group of 75 persons, [which] you would have already heard, representing public and private sector organisations in Guyana, [from] over 40 public and private sector organisations.

“It will allow us to identify any new money laundering or terrorist financing threats and vulnerabilities, and it will also include an assessment that is a money laundering assessment of new areas such as virtual assets.

“We’ll also look at the oil and gas sector, proliferation financing which was not covered under the old National Risk Assessment and illegal wildlife. These are new areas for the working group,” she stated.

Attorney General Basil Williams, who was present at the seminar, underscored the importance of meeting the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and following its recommendations.

He mentioned the importance of Guyana maintaining its good standing with the FATF and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) especially at such a pivotal point in its history with its new oil wealth.

“With our oil regime looming, it is important that we ensure we are not blacklisted because the CFATF and FATF requirements to protect the international financial economy are very strict,” he said.

Guyana will be conducting its second (NRA) over a 10-month period from December 2019 to September 2020 with a working group consisting of about 70 persons from the public and private sector.