Money-laundering Act does not give guidance as to the status of a politically exposed person after their public functions have ceased

Dear Editor,

 

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act (2009) in Guyana states, “politically exposed person means an individual who is or has been entrusted with prominent public functions on behalf of a state, including a Head of State or of government, senior politicians, senior government, judicial or military officials, senior executives of state owned corporations, important political party officials, including family members or close associates of the politically exposed person whether that person is resident in Guyana or not.”

The 2009 AML/CFT Act did not give guidance as to the status of PEPS after their “prominent public functions” are concluded. The Act suggests that once a person becomes a PEP, he/she could always remain PEP. However, the situation is different for PEPS in the European Union.

The European Union Fourth Anti-Money Laundering directive states, “where a politically exposed person is no longer entrusted with a prominent public function by a Member State or a third country or with a prominent public function by an International Organisation obliged entities shall for at least 12 months be required to take into account continuing risk posed by that person and to apply appropriate and risk-sensitive measures until such time as that person is deemed to pose no further risk specific to a politically exposed person.”

There must be clear guidance in relation to politically exposed person status after such person ceases to hold office or “prominent public functions”.

Yours faithfully,

Sharmini Rampersaud

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