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Gov’t “cannot sit on its laurels”; needs to have more AML/CFT convictions- AG

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Although Guyana has successfully exited the Financial Action Task Force/ International Co-operation Review Group (FATF/ICRG) process, by 2020 when the country is slated for the fourth round of Mutual Evaluation there must be regular convictions for money laundering and related crimes.

 

This is according to Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams, who was speaking during a press conference today.

 

“In the fourth round we would have to show effectiveness and that we were making sufficient progress …in other words convictions,” the Attorney general said.

 

The Minister noted that the FATF has also placed emphasis on the third limb which involves combating financing for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

 

In this regard Mr. Williams said government “cannot sit on its laurels” as it relates to the enforcement aspect of its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism laws and regulations.

 

The Attorney General informed that judges and magistrates would also have to be trained in areas such as cyber crime, among others. He noted too that lawyers would have to be supervised in an effort to ensure that all steps are being taken to charge and convict those guilty of AML/CFT violations.

 

He pointed out that Guyanese could now rest assured that risks have been reduced with better corresponding banking relations forthcoming, since the country no longer poses a threat to international financial institutions.

 

At the FATF conference held in Paris on October 18 in the FATF/ICRG Meeting, Spain moved the motion to recommend that Guyana be removed from the Compliance Document.

 

Spain’s motion was supported by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, France and Mexico.

 

The AG said it is because of this solid support that the recommendation for Guyana to exit the process was unanimously adopted by the FATF Plenary meeting two days after.

 

At the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force meeting slated for November, 2016 Guyana is poised to exit its review process as well.

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