MOUs signed for cooperation, information sharing in combatting money laundering, terrorist financing
The Ministry of Legal Affairs on Wednesday signed agreements with law enforcement and supervisory agencies to improve cooperation and information sharing in combatting money laundering and financial crimes.
The move is part of Guyana’s effort as it prepares to demonstrate compliance with and effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendations which are aimed at combating money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing.
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) will be conducting an onsite assessment in Guyana beginning on September 4.
The agreements were inked between the head of key agencies including the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Revenue Authority, Guyana Gold Board and the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard during a simple ceremony held in the conference room of the Sleep-In hotel on Church Street, Georgetown.
Through the agreements, Guyana will be able to implement and comply with Recommendation Two of the Financial Action Task Force which deals with national cooperation and coordination that requires countries to ensure that policy makers at the operational level have effective mechanisms in place so that they are able to cooperate, coordinate and exchange information with each other as it relates to the development and implementation of policies and activities to combat money laundering and financial crimes.
It also includes cooperation between the relevant authorities to ensure the compatibility of Anti-Money Laundering / Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements on data protection, privacy rules and other similar provisions.
In his remarks, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall said that over three recent months several pieces of legislation were passed in the National Assembly to improve Guyana’s effectiveness in mitigating these crimes.
“We live in a radically different world now….crime and security are foremost considerations on the global stage…International agencies have been established to assist countries in combatting crime and in ensuring public safety across the globe,” Nandlall said.
“The MOU will establish a working framework between the supervisory agencies and another one in relation to the law enforcement agencies and they will establish that framework that will allow for continuous and constant cooperation of sharing of information,” he said.
According to Nandlall, Guyana had to update its laws in preparation of the exercise to avoid facing sanctions.
“…We have been working over the past two years in preparing our country for this important assessment…We had to ensure that we bring our legislative requirements up to speed…Administratively we also had to do a number of things to ensure that we implement the relevant recommendations, not all of them relate to legislation…Some of them include the execution of the MOU,” he said.
Following the signing of the agreements, the agencies participated in a preparation workshop ahead of the onsite assessment which will last for a two week period.