Passage of AML Bill will not get Guyana out of Blacklisting trap – Dr Luncheon

Cabinet Secretary. Dr. Roger Luncheon.

[] – Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon has noted that while a CFATF-FATF compliant legislation is necessary; it is not sufficient to get Guyana out of the blacklisting trap.

He told a media briefing on Thursday, June 12 that, “Blacklisting apparently cannot be turned on and off like pipe water… blacklisting is not needed; it should be avoided at all cost, but if you are caught in the blacklisting track,

Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon
Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon

you will not be able to jump out of it easily… when we get to the point of enacting CFATF or FATF compliant AMLCFT legislation, let us not feel that we have conquered; let us not assumed that we have done all that is necessary.

He explained that international experiences have shown that minimally, it takes two years to get out of the category as a blacklisted country and that very few countries have managed to get this issue resolved in less than two years.

According to him, Guyana has already been blacklisted and if the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill is not passed in time for Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) mid-June plenary, this blacklisted status will be further solidified.

“The discretion of jurisdictions and state parties that are obliged to being members of the treaty to protect their financial systems would see blacklisting of Guyana taken to a higher level than it currently is and has been,” the HPS explained.

With regards to current status of discussions at the select committee to which the Bill was referred, the HPS said that these were more or less the same as they have been in the past.

“There were interminable discussions, inflexibility and essentially, the same outcome… we have harboured an expectation that there might have been some movement sufficient enough to have the enactment of the legislation before FATF’s plenary on June 19…we know that that anticipation fades more and more into the realm of impossibility,” he said.

Countermeasures for non-passage of the legislation could entail, the requirement of enhanced due diligence measures; introducing enhanced reporting mechanisms or systematic reporting of financial transactions; refusing the establishment of subsidiaries or branches or representative offices in the country concerned, or otherwise taking into account the fact that the relevant financial institution is from a country that does not have adequate AML/CFT systems and limiting the business relationships or financial transactions with the identified country or persons in that country.







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