AML/CFT Amendment Bill passed in National Assembly
─ “Our people were punished, businesspersons were short-changed” – AG Williams
─ Opposition chided for failing to implement strong AML/CFT regime while in government
─ “this government took up its responsibility and ensured we remedied the situation”
DPI, Guyana, Friday, 27 July 2018
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC., lambasted the Opposition PPP for failing to implement a strong Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/PF) regime under their governance.
AG Williams, in his final arguments on the AML/CFT Amendment Bill, said Guyana was not properly represented under the PPP government at the level of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which led to the country being blacklisted.
He reminded that remittances and bank transactions became a hassle, “the last government brought us to our knees.”
During the blacklist, corresponding banking relations with international and regional financial institutions were affected.
The Attorney General, in defending the establishment of the National Coordination Committee, said it is necessary to effectively tackle AML/CFT/PF, since cooperation among key supervisory agencies will ensure “we win this battle” against money laundering and other financial crimes.
AG Williams refuted the opposition’s arguments that this government was responsible for the blacklisting, due to its non-support of the Bill’s passage while they were in opposition.
He noted that “this government took up its responsibility and ensured we remedied the situation.”
The AML/CFT legislation, the Attorney General said, laid solely in the province of the PPP government.
The AG re-emphasised the need for building a strong regulatory framework for tackling the scourge of money-laundering, which the Bill he noted will guarantee.
The Bill was then passed in the National Assembly following the vote.
Image: Jameel Mohamed
CFATF is an observer member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an intergovernmental organisation that designs and promotes policies and standards to combat financial crime.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an intergovernmental organisation that designs and promotes policies and standards to combat financial crime.