AML/CFT will be enforced by SOCU as stated by law- AG Nandlall

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall says the enforcement of the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) law will be a key focus for the government says.

 This was one of the key aspects announced during the presentation of the 2020 Budget.

The Attorney General in an invited comment said that for the past five years, the previous administration failed to enforce the laws of the AML/CFT. The AG pointed out that since the passage of the bill, there has been no serious offence instituted against anyone nor conviction of any worth.

The Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) which is the enforcement arm of the AML/CFT was not allowed to function in the way the law prescribed the Attorney General said. “SOCU has been used by the previous administration as a political witch hunting tool against us who were in the Opposition at the time. So, we have to reorient SOCU, properly equipped SOCU and allow SOCU to discharge its statutory mandate under the AML/CFT act,” the AG pointed out.

According to the Attorney General, SOCU is supposed to be staffed with top class investigators, lawyers, accountants, financial investigators, auditors, etc., with the intent of pursuing information they are supplied with by the Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate and recommend charges.

The Minister pointed out that on Friday, the sum of $6M was ordered to be forfeited to the state after SOCU won a civil case against a man who was busted with the money hidden in cans of paint at the Springlands, Berbice crossing.

With that, the Attorney General made it clear that “the state will begin to give SOCU the attention it deserves and allow it to function autonomously and to pursue its mandate which is to investigate AML/CFT type offences.”

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