Only one report received by the DPP from the FIU

Dear Editor,

I have noted some false and misleading information stated in the editorial captioned ‘It is a question of enforcement’ published on Sunday March 2, 2014 in Kaieteur News. This false and misleading information was published without first verifying same with the office of the DPP.

I wish to categorically state that more than 800 reports of suspicious transactions were never forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, as was falsely stated in the  editorial.

According to The Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 section 9 (4) (a) the Financial Intelligence Unit shall compile a report and send it to the competent authority, if having conducted its analysis, the FIU has reasonable grounds to suspect that the transaction involves money laundering, proceeds of crime or terrorist financing. According to section 2 of the Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 “competent authority” means the Director of Public Prosecutions, and includes any person authorised by him in that behalf. The only agency, therefore, that has a statutory duty to send a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions of suspicious transactions, once there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the transaction involves money laundering, proceeds of crime or terrorist financing, is the FIU.

Since the Act the FIU has only sent one such report, vide letter dated December 21, 2011 from the Director of the FIU. The DPP by letter dated January 9, 2012 responded to the letter stating that the information contained in the report was insufficient and requested that documents and statements in support of the information in the report be provided to the DPP. To date the DPP has not received any response.

The DPP wishes to state that every report and/or file which is received from any law enforcement agency is addressed, given appropriate and adequate attention and response in a timely manner, and not filed away. Any report of suspicious transactions under the Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 will receive this same attention and response, as do all other reports and /or files we receive.

Yours faithfully,

Shalimar Ali-Hack

Director of Public Prosecutions

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