Caricom, OAS concerned over anti-laundering bill

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) yesterday said it is concerned at the continuing delay in Guyana’s progress towards implementing recommendations to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering regime.

In a statement, CARICOM called on all parties involved in the process to take all necessary actions without further delay to have the reforms implemented.

“CARICOM remains deeply concerned that failure to pass the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism  (Amendment) Bill in Parliament could result in action by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) which could have an adverse impact on the Guyanese economy and by extension the CARICOM Region as a whole.  Any action that reduces the ease or increases the cost of processing international financial or trade transactions will adversely affect trade and financial flows in the Region, retard the regional integration enterprise, limit the opportunities for growth in Guyana and the Region and result in hardship for the people of Guyana .

“CARICOM therefore urges that this matter be speedily resolved, by enacting the relevant legislation, in the interest of the people of Guyana and the Community. “

Organisation of American States Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza on Monday called on Guyanese policy makers to exercise cooperation and understanding to facilitate the timely approval of the bill.

In a release, Insulza, who is said to have been following events in Guyana related to the legislation, said that passing the bill would “bring the country up to standard on these matters,” as it would “make Guyana compliant with the requirements” of the CFATF.

Insulza also pledged the organization’s support if and when it is needed. “The OAS stands ready to support the Guyanese authorities in their pursuit of political dialogue and consensus building, especially on matters of national importance,” the Secretary General is quoted as saying, and he added that “he offered the cooperation and support of the OAS, through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, to the process that is currently underway.

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