Amendments to anti-money laundering bill passed

Guyana qualified to join prestigious Egmont group

Amendments to the Anti-money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act Cap 10:11, were on Monday passed in the National Assembly to ensure the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) meets the necessary requirements for Guyana to secure membership to the Egmont Group.

The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Unit is an international organisation that facilitates cooperation and intelligence sharing among national financial intelligence units to investigate and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, S.C

It also supports the efforts of its international partners and other stakeholders to give effect to the resolutions and statements by the United Nations Security Council, the G20 Finance Ministers, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C., during his presentation on the bill, said the amendments to the AML/CFT Act are simple yet significant, as Guyana prepares for a review process in the first quarter of 2023.

Admission to the Egmont Group, the AG highlighted, will boost Guyana’s capacity to fight AML/CFT offences and activities. He noted that the Egmont group has certain facilities that are reciprocal to members to share information and platforms.

It also augments the capability of individual states to discharge their functions under their respective legislation.

The bill amends section two of the Principal Act to provide pertinent definitions related to the principles of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing international best practices.

Clause three of the Bill amends section 9(4) to provide for sharing of information by the FIU with other law enforcement agencies and other competent authorities.

Further, Clause 4 of the Bill amends section 14(1) to strengthen the FIU’s ability to independently enter into agreements or arrangements with foreign FIUs and ensure that these agreements are made in accordance with the Egmont Principles.

The Attorney General, while highlighting the importance of this legislation, said that for the five years under the APNU+ AFC, it failed to enforce the laws of the AML/CFT, with no charges instituted or any convictions of worth.

He restated the PPP/C Government’s commitment to continuously updating and modernising the legislation to ensure Guyana remains on par with international regulations and requirements to effectively tackle money laundering and other related crimes.

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