Only criminals stand to benefit from non-passage of AML/CFT Bill- President Ramotar

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President of Guyana, Donald Ramotar.
President of Guyana, Donald Ramotar.

[www.inewsguyana.com]President Donald Ramotar is questioning whose interest the combined Opposition is representing, since neither the country’s economy nor its people stand to benefit from the non-passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing (AML/CFT) (Amendment) Bill, which is currently languishing before a Parliamentary select committee.

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) recently ranked Guyana as one of the most delinquent countries that is most likely to be selected for review by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for the International Cooperation Review Group’s (ICRG) later this month.

“Who will benefit if this Bill is not passed? Definitively not the Guyanese people…in the first instance it will affect the cost for people in our country doing business with banks abroad… it will also give our country a very bad name and send a message to investors that can negatively impact investments coming to our country,” the Head of State lamented during a programme titled ‘The Conversation’ aired on the National Communications Network (NCN) on Monday, February 3.

He emphasised that not only will the banking and insurance sectors be affected, but there will be dire impacts on investments which contribute significantly to job creation.

The President said that the only people that stand to derive benefits from the non-passage of this important piece of legislation are those perpetrating money laundering and other financial crimes and as such, the parliamentary Opposition needs to decide whose interest they are representing.

The President reminded that even though the Opposition rejected the Bill when it came up for the third reading in early November last year, they are yet to state what their contentions are with it and propose amendments accordingly.

With regards to the Opposition’s call for the President to assent to certain Bills in exchange for their support for the AML/CFT, the Head of State stated that at present there are no Bills before him. The ones that he refused to assent to on the basis of unconstitutionality were returned to the Parliament with an appropriate explanation.

He informed that there is a constitutional procedure that must be followed for the Bills to be returned to him.

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