Amendments to Anti-Money Laundering Bill do not violate citizens’ rights – Min. Ramjattan

DPI, Guyana, Friday, 27 July 2018

Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, in defending the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill 2018, made it clear that the government is not violating the constitutional rights of citizens with the amendments.

He told the National Assembly today that the Bill simply seeks to strengthen the AML/CFT regime in accordance with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The opposition raised concerns about the Attorney General chairing the AML/CFT/PF National Coordination Committee. Minister Ramjattan said the AG is best suited for the position.

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan

Reference was made to the FATF criteria which state that countries should have national AML/CFT policies which are informed by the risks identified and must be regularly reviewed.

The minister said the previous legislation did not cater for proliferation financing, hence, the amendments seek to fill the loopholes.

Recommendation 7 of the FATF calls for countries to implement targeted financial sanctions to comply with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) relating to the prevention, suppression and disruption of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its financing.

This requirement urges countries to freeze without delay the funds or other assets of persons engaged in proliferation financing.

In this regard, Minister Ramjattan said the amendments adequately caters for these provisions to ensure Guyana is fully compliant with the international best practices.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC., in his opening remarks said the establishment of the committee will provide the necessary oversight, guidance and feedback to ensure that the competent agencies are compliant with the Act and putting policies in place to effectively combat money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

By: Stacy Carmichael

Image: Jules Gibson

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