US report lists Guyana as ‘major money laundering jurisdiction in 2017’

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…. says ‘narcotics trafficking, government corruption are the primary sources of laundered funds’

The United States’, Department of State, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), volume two of March 2018 has listed Guyana, among many other countries, as “Major Money Laundering Jurisdictions in 2017.”

The report noted that while Guyana has made much progress on the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) front more training, education, and resources are needed in the future.

In its 2018 overview of Guyana, the INCSR posited that “narcotics trafficking and government corruption are the primary sources of laundered funds.”

Secondary sources the report outlined are “human trafficking, illicit gold mining, contraband, and tax evasion.”

According to the US report, ” Guyana is a transit country for South American cocaine destined for Europe, the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Cocaine is concealed in legitimate commodities and smuggled via commercial maritime vessels, air transport, human couriers, or the postal services. Traffickers are attracted to Guyana’s remote airstrips, porous land borders, and weak security infrastructure. Largely unregulated currency exchange houses, used to transfer funds to and from the diaspora, pose a risk to Guyana’s AML regime.”

The report listed the major agencies involved in anti-drug and money laundering efforts, such as the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), the Special Organized Crimes Unit (SOCU) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), among others, but noted that they were not effective enough due to “inadequate human resources, insufficient training, and a lack of strong interagency cooperation.”

Moreover, the report said that the “business community’s lack of cooperation also hinders Guyana’s AML efforts.”

It was outlined that Guyana should continue to provide training to “increase awareness and understanding of AML laws within the judiciary and agencies with investigative authority for financial crimes” while “suspicious activity reporting, wire transfers, and customer due diligence regulations should be strengthened and additional resources given to the FIU and SOCU.”

Apart from Guyana, Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Canada, the United Kingdom and United States itself were, among many others, listed as “Major Money Laundering Jurisdictions in 2017.”

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