Parliamentary Counsel has difficulty drafting AML Amendments; Committee meeting unproductive



[] – Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Cecil Durjohn is once again unable to complete the amendments proposed by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to the Anti – Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall

This is according to Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall who reportedly told the Government Information Agency that the amendments by the Opposition Party continue to be a major hindrance to the Bill.

The Parliamentary Select Committee met on Wednesday evening (March 5) where members were informed of Durjohn’s difficulties.

Durjohn reportedly informed Minister Nandlallthat he was unable to complete the task of reducing the proposal given by the APNU members into legislative form, but noted that he has made some headway.

It was explained that some of the challenges faced by Durjohn includes being able to pinpoint legislation other than the Principal Act which the proposal can possibly conflict with, since there are already provisions in the law which permit persons to freely move around with a large amount of cash.

“You are authorising agencies of the state to detain people’s money on mere suspicions without probable cause and due process, which is unconstitutional, then you have the CFATF guidelines to  follow to ensure that what they are drafting do not run afoul with those guidelines and that is what is being done,” Minister Nandlalltold the Government Agency.

He pointed out that Durjohn has humbly requested more time to complete his work and has also indicated that what may be presented to the committee may not be verbatim to what APNU requested.

“He has to draft in accordance with the law and CFATF guidelines. He can’t draft laws that will collide with the guidelines, principles of CFAT, he would have met with the CFATF and he has all the manuals and those of the United Nations Security Council,” Nandlall said.

It was also noted that the APNU proposal on the appointment of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is also posing some amount of difficulty in terms of drafting.

Meanwhile, the meeting was adjourned for next Monday (March 10) when it is expected that the draft proposals would be handed over to the committee.





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