Gov’t briefs Lusignan residents on anti-laundering bill

-members of audience call for protest

Residents of Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, yesterday pledged to “hit the streets” of Georgetown to protest their dissatisfaction with the stances taken by APNU and the AFC with regards to the AML/CFT (Amendment) Bill.

The commitments were made to Minister within the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill during a town hall-style meeting by the fifty or so villagers who attended the meeting at the Lusignan Community Centre.

The meeting was one of two held yesterday – another was held in Mahai-ca – and part of a series of meetings organized by government to raise awareness on, and support for the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (Amendment) Bill.

For about thirty minutes each, the residents listened to Edghill and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall replay the arguments they have been offering since the passage of the AML/CFT (Amendment) Bill became an issue i.e.  the Caribbean Financial Action Force (CFATF) required Guyana to pass the bill by several deadlines which were missed because of the opposition’s refusal give their support; Guyana has been blacklisted which, among other things, can affect the ability of citizens to send and receive money; some of the amendments to the bill put forward by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) will criminalize large quantities of money and make it easier for vested officers to seize such if they suspect it was laundered or intended for laundering.

Aside from thanking Edghill and the rest of the government for explaining the existing situation to them, the residents noted that serious actions much be taken to show A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) that the citizens who they claim to represent are against their decisions, at least where the bill is concerned.

Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to chastise his National Assembly counterparts, Edghill implored the residents, specifically those who supported to the AFC, to go to their leaders and ask them why they have sided with  APNU with regards to the passage of the bill.

He also told the residents that the opposition parties are aware of the fact that not passing the AML/CFT (Amendment) Bill will impact the country badly. He said that the opposition parties are intentionally opposing the bill for Guyana to be penalized, and for its citizens to blame government for all of their woes which would stem from such a development.

Edghill suggested to the residents that the opposition parties believe the government to be direly desperate to pass the bill, and have therefore resorted to making exorbitant demands – that the President give his assent to bills which he has refused to sign into law; that government cede its bid to retain its no-objection powers in the procurement process and set up the Public Procurement Com-mission; and that the amendments proposed by APNU be imposed on the AML/CFT principal Act.

Urged on by the presentations made by the two ministers, one man stood and suggested that a small town hall meeting, such as the one held yesterday, is not enough. He told Edghill that other members of the community need to be sensitized, and asked that a larger meeting be held so that more members of the community can be presented with the information made available last evening.

Another man suggested that the community turn out to the streets of Georgetown and protest to show the opposition “that the people mean business.”

Yet another rose and agreed with the idea to take to the streets. He however, suggested that the entire community be mobilized, so that the community can take to the streets in massive numbers. As these suggestion were being made other members offered applause, signalling their support for the ideas.

Satisfied that government’s message had been received, Edghill thanked the residents for their support, and assured them that he would inform government of the position they have taken.

More in Local News

The car, PSS 1236 after it stuck the three victims.

Driver in accident with St Lucian cubs jailed for 10 months

The police today said that the driver of the motor vehicle who was involved in an accident with two St Lucian cub scouts has been jailed for 10 months.

default placeholder

Draft bill sees state assets recovery via civil proceedings

The draft State Assets Recovery Bill 2016 envisages non-conviction based, civil recoveries of property over $10m with a 12-year limitation period and wide powers will be available to the agency to be set up under the law to gather information.

Raphael Trotman

Gov’t will not be ‘lectured to in the press’ on forest concessions, Trotman says

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Raphael Trotman yesterday said that the government will not be “lectured” to in the press on the issue of forestry concessions, while announcing that the arrival of officials from a company in China that may take over the operations of the controversial Baishanlin is being awaited.

Black Bush murder victims laid to rest: Rice farmer, Pawan Chandradeo, 37; his fifteen-year-old son, Jaikarran Chandradeo, both of 163 Mibicuri North, Black Bush Polder and his brother-in-law Naresh Rooplall, 33, of Number 75 Village, Corentyne were yesterday laid to rest following an emotional funeral. They were buried at the Babu John Cemetery, Port Mourant. The trio were found dead on Friday, less than a day after they had left to go on a fishing trip in Black Bush Polder. Intense investigations are underway into the murders. Photo shows the caskets of the three victims and part of the crowd that gathered.

Black Bush triple murder suspects brought to city

Seven men, including the main suspect who was arrested in connection with the Black Bush Polder, Corentyne triple murder were transported to Georgetown on Tuesday evening and are currently being questioned by ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID), Major Crimes Unit.

Anthony Jhagroo

Bulletin issued for suspect in murder of mechanic

The police yesterday issued a  bulletin for Anthony Jhagroo, who is wanted for questioning in relation to two offences: escaping from lawful custody and the murder of mechanic, Yugeshwar Shiwcharan.

default placeholder

Five cops under close arrest over stolen gold

Five police officers attached to the Brickdam Police Station are currently under close arrest after they allegedly stole a quantity of raw gold from some miners last Friday.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: