Further measures against Guyana were recommended today by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force over the country’s failure to amend it anti-money laundering laws.
Guyana has also been referred to the global body, the Financial Action Task Force which could result in crippling financial sanctions.
The government and the opposition have been haggling over the needed amendments and the conditions for them to be passed for over two years.
A statement issued today by the Guyana Government follows:
Government of Guyana Statement
issued by Attorney-General & Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall MP,
from Miami, Florida, USA – May 29, 2014
The CFATF XXXIX Plenary Meeting was held from May 26-29, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Guyana is the subject of the CFATF ICRG review as a result of its failure to rectify certain identified deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime. In the Sixth Follow-up Report of Guyana published on May 21, 2014 CFATF notes “The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) (Amendment) Bill 2013 was presented in Parliament on April 22, 2013. The Bill seeks to address the legislative amendments required by the examiners’ recommended actions in the core and key Recommendations and a majority of the remaining outstanding Recommendations.Following the legislative debate process in Parliament the AMLCFT (Amendment) Bill 2013 was rejected by Parliament in November 2013. The AMLCFT (Amendment) Bill was reintroduced in Parliament in December 2013 and has been subject to consideration by a Parliamentary Special Select Committee which has yet to complete its deliberations for the Parliament to enact the legislation.”
In consequence thereof, the CFATF XXXIX Plenary Meeting resolved today that a Public Statement be issued in respect of Guyana. Hereunder set out, is the full text of the said Public Statement.
CFATF – Public Statement – Miami, Florida, May 26th, 2014.
Miami, Florida, May 26th, 2014 – The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) is an organisation of twenty-seven jurisdictions of the Caribbean Basin Region, which have agreed to implement the international standards for Anti-money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), Financial Action Task Force Recommendations (FATF Recommendations). In order to protect the international financial system from money laundering and financing of terrorism (ML/FT) risks and to encourage greater compliance with the AML/CFT standards, the CFATF identified jurisdictions that have strategic deficiencies and works with them to address those deficiencies that pose a risk to the international financial system.
Jurisdiction with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies that has not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies or has not complied with the Action Plan developed with the CFATF to address these deficiencies. The CFATF calls on its Members to consider implementing further counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana, as described below.
As a result of not meeting the agreed timelines in its Action Plan, the CFATF recognises Guyana as a jurisdiction with significant AML/CFT deficiencies, which has failed to make significant progress in addressing those deficiencies and the CFATF considers Guyana to be a risk to the international financial system. Members are therefore called upon to implement further counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana. Also, the CFATF has referred Guyana to the FATF.
Countermeasures could entail, among others, the requirement of enhanced due diligence measures; introducing enhanced reporting mechanisms or systematic reporting of financial transactions; refusing the establishment of subsidiaries or branches or representative offices in the country concerned, or otherwise taking into account the fact that the relevant financial institution is from a country that does not have adequate AML/CFT systems and limiting the business relationships or financial transactions with the identified country or persons in that country.
In November 2011 the CFATF brought to the attention of its Members certain jurisdictions including Guyana with significant strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime. With a view to encouraging expeditious rectification of the identified strategic deficiencies Guyana and the CFATF developed an Action Plan with identified target dates to address the strategic deficiencies that exist in Guyana’s national architecture to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The CFATF issued a public statement in May 2013 recommending that Guyana took steps to ensure that it addressed its AML/CFT deficiencies. Additionally, in November 2013 CFATF issued a further public statement calling upon its Members to consider implementing counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana. Guyana has failed to pass the relevant legislation necessary for it to significantly improve its AML/CFT regime and therefore has not substantially addressed the outstanding deficiencies from its mutual evaluation report. The CFATF urges Guyana to urgently, immediately and meaningfully address its AML/CFT deficiencies, in particular by: 1) fully criminalising money laundering and terrorist financing offences, 2) addressing all the requirements on beneficial ownership, 3) strengthening the requirements for suspicious transaction reporting, international co-operation, and the freezing and confiscation of terrorist assets, and 4) fully implementing the UN conventions. Please refer to the Sixth Follow-up Report of Guyana available at https//www.cfatf-gafic.org for greater details.