4th round of mutual evaluation will target oil and gas economy

─ Guyana must be prepared- AG tells NRA conference

─ govt will continue to fight against money laundering

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, December 19, 2019

Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs Hon. Basil Williams, SC says Guyana’s oil and gas economy will be under the microscope in the fourth round of mutual evaluation by the financial action task force and the country must be prepared.

Guyana comes up for the crucial evaluation in the first quarter of 2023, three years after the start of oil production locally.

The AG was speaking at the opening of the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing National Risk Assessment (ML/TF NRA) seminar at Pegasus on Thursday. He said the assessment was critical at this time since it would also point out high-risk areas that needed to be addressed.

“With our oil regime looming, it is important that we ensure we are not blacklisted because the CFATF and FATF requirements to protect the international financial economy are very strict,” he said.

Guyana’s third round of mutual evaluation saw the erection of the legal framework and according to AG Williams, the fourth round would test its effectiveness.

He added that Guyana would have to pay attention to its investigation, prosecution and conviction rates for money laundering offences.

“From 2015 to now, we haven’t had any, not one. And we have seen the evaluation of all the countries, and they all failed. But we haven’t had any and it is remarkable.”

The minister said the political will was what was required and that its presence was apparent from His Excellency President David Granger’s commitment to the Financial Action Task Force.

A 75-person group of representatives from more than 40 public and private sector entities in Guyana will conduct the NRA exercise.

The exercise is in keeping with the FATF Recommendation that requires countries to assess their risks, apply a risk-based approach and put measures in place to mitigate identified risks on an ongoing basis.

The World Bank will once again be providing Guyana with technical assistance and guidance to conduct the NRA.

Apart from the oil and gas sector, the new NRA will also take into account an assessment of the proliferation financing, virtual assets, and the illegal wildlife trade.

Note: Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an intergovernmental organisation that designs and promotes policies and standards to combat financial crime

CFATF is an observer member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an intergovernmental organisation which designs and promotes policies and standards to combat financial crime.

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