By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall has pointed out what he described as the “lack of information” from the AG’s Chambers as it relates to Guyana amending its Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Legislation.
At a press conference held at Freedom House on Thursday, June 18, Nandlall expressed hope that the current AG and Legal Affairs Minister, Basil Williams is attending the relevant meetings with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), where Guyana has to update the Regional Body on the progress made in amending the legislation.
“I hope that the Attorney General is attending those meetings because at those meetings, he is supposed to update the CFAFT on where we are currently in terms of complying with a regime of obligations and courses of action to which we have committed ourselves as a country, including among them are the enactment of a new amended bill, bringing Guyana up to speed with where the rest of the world is,” Nandlall explained.
He further noted that more information will have to be added to the Bill if Guyana takes longer to pass the Bill in the National Assembly.
“The longer we take to pass this Bill; it is more we will have to add to the Bill because it is an evolving process. Everyday new information emanate from these international agencies, that countries are expected to incorporate and implement within its legal and financial structure. So the longer that we take to do so the more onerous the responsibility becomes,” the former Attorney General said.
The APNU+AFC, while in the Opposition had withhold its support for the AML Bill, citing various concerns with the amended version, causing Guyana to miss several deadlines of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.
As a result, Guyana was summarily blacklisted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) – the regional body that deals with financial crimes.
This took place despite pressures from several civil society groups and members for the diplomatic corps for the political factions to find common ground and allow the Bill to be passed in the National Assembly.
However, now that they are in government, the APNU+AFC have committed to passing the amended Bill in the Parliament as soon as possible, stating that it is a priority on the Parliamentary agenda.