Guyana seeking options to enact anti-money legislation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Oct 1, CMC – The Guyana government says it is in the process of putting in place alternatives to address the technical deficiencies in its existing legal and financial legislative measures for the assessment of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, who led a delegation to Miami for talks with the Americas Regional Review Group (ARRG), said this is as a consequence of the non-passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLC/FT) (Amendment) Bill. 

“Were we able to pass the Bill then we would not have had to go through this process, but because we did not pass that Bill we now have to look at alternative mechanisms to satisfy the technical requirements,” he said.

The opposition-dominated 65-seat National Assembly has not supported the Donald Ramotar administration in the passage of the legislation despite the country being blacklisted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

The FATF has appointed a special committee comprising representatives from the Americas to work with Guyana for the purpose of making a presentation of Guyana’s case to the FATF plenary meeting on October 18-24 in Paris.

A government statement said that this high-level team will send its work plan to Guyana along with other issues that they may identify for addressing for consideration by FATF.

“ Essentially, the final report that will be prepared by Guyana under the supervision of the AARG will be Guyana’s case to FATF at its the October plenary,” the statement said.

Nandlall described the process as a “work in progress”, but noted that the engagement with the AARG was fruitful and constructive.

Within the next two-three days, Guyana will receive a comprehensive response from the AARG which would document the details of the discussions with recommendations of what they would like to see done in preparing the final report which will be taken to Paris.

Prior to that meeting however, Guyana is expected to give an undertaking in writing either from the Attorney General or President Ramotar as to when the country will complete the third round of reviews, the statement noted.

“We are still to graduate from the third round because of the non-passage of that Anti-Money Laundering Bill,” Nandlall added.

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