By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Alliance for Change (AFC) says the announcement by the Government to establish a Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) to investigate suspected financial transaction of money laundering and financing of terrorism is a positive step that is welcomed by the party.
However, according to AFC’s General Secretary Michael Patterson the announcement is belated. He told reporters that the Act which makes provision for the establishment of the body was instituted in 2009; hence the establishment of the body should have come sooner.
Meanwhile, the party’s Treasurer Dominic Gaskin said, “Setting up the unit is not the crux of the matter; it is the implementation and operationalization.”
He said the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that was established by Government has failed to adequately address matters of money laundering in Guyana.
It is on these grounds that he implored the Government to ensure that when the new body is established, it follows through on its mandate.
“The Government is found to be wanting in this regard… I think they lack the political will to address money laundering,” Gaskin said.
A government official confirmed on Wednesday (November 13) that the Unit will be based out of Eve Leary and under the supervision of the Commissioner of Police and will collaborate with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
The SOCU will recruit persons from the Joint Services, who will receive training from a trained and skilled foreign investigator, who will act a partner to the SOCU Head for the next three years.