AG says there is no delay with AML/CFT compliance
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams today informed the media that there is no delay with regards to the country becoming fully compliant with its Anti-money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Legislation (AML/CFT).
He clarified his position this morning, noting that “there is no delay because Guyana has done something that is unprecedented in the FATF world and that is, within the year of the new government we are poised to exit both FATF and CFATF. In fact after completing all the core and key recommendations for CFATF we would have been able to exit, but for the fact Guyana had been referred under the previous government to the FATF process after being subjected to three public statements and still hadn’t corrected or implemented the recommendations they were required to do, so it follows that we can’t exit CFATF until we exit FATF and that’s why we are here because we satisfy all those recommendations in the action plan agreed between FATF and Guyana and so that is why we were able to get them to order an onsite visit.”
In this regard, the Attorney General confirmed that an onsite visit by members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will take place on September 14 and 15, 2016.
This, Williams said is to verify if Guyana has introduced the reforms recommended in the action plan agreed between FATF and Guyana.
“The visit will also confirm if there is political commitment to sustain the reforms. Guyana has prepared for this visit by having its AML/CFT compliance team… conducting meetings with key agencies including the FIU, SOCU and the Bank of Guyana to sensitize them on the AML/CFT obligations,” he said.
The team from FATF will meet with the Attorney General, the AML/CFT compliance team, the Minister of Finance, Bank of Guyana Officials , supervisory authorities, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and reporting agencies such as Republic Bank, among others.
The results of this meeting, the Attorney General noted, would be discussed at the upcoming plenary meeting of the FATF slated for October in Paris, France.
Williams also informed that he will be attending two meetings of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in Miami, Florida from September 6 to 9, 2016.
He noted that at CFATF’s plenary meeting held in June this year in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the group stated that Guyana had significantly improved its overall compliance and most importantly has addressed the key recommendations .
However, it was highlighted that Guyana still has to complete the FATF/ICRG process, hence it was advised that the country stays under enhanced follow up until the next plenary in November 2016.
According to Williams, Guyana has nothing left to do with regard to its AML/CFT legislation and the new government is currently cleaning up the residue left from the last administration, which has resulted in the slowing down of business as raised by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce.