Anti-Money Laundering Outreach and Sensitisation Seminar

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams S.C., M.P. and members of the Ministry of Legal Affairs Compliance Team, held a one-day Anti-Money Laundering Outreach and Sensitisation Seminar on the 12th September 2017, at the Little Rock Suites, New Amsterdam, Berbice.

Accompanying Minister Williams was Special Advisor  to the Attorney General on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), Tessa Oudkerk, Chief  Parliamentary Counsel, Charles Fung-A-Fatt S.C.,  Principal Parliamentary Counsel, Joann Bond, Director of Bank Supervision Department of the Bank of Guyana Ramnarine Lal,  Director of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Matthew Langevine, Head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) , Sydney James,  Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Teshanna Lake and Chief Co-operatives Development Officer, Perlina Gifth.

The aim of the Seminar was to inform the reporting entities of their obligations and responsibilities. The Seminar highlighted the importance of the 4th round of AML/CFT mutual evaluations and its requirements in order to ensure Guyana’s preparedness for the 4th round by 2022.

The Attorney General, in his opening remarks emphasised that the main work of  the CFATF is mutual evaluations. He expressed the need for Guyana to work towards successfully exiting the 4th round of mutual evaluations and not fall back into the abyss of being a blacklisted country.  The Attorney General solicited the cooperation of the reporting entities present at the meeting to realise this goal.

Mr. Langevine described the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as an inter-governmental body established by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions, with associate members such as the CFATF. He explained the process of the 4th round mutual evaluations which assesses a country’s Technical Compliance and Effectiveness.

Mr. Lal provided in detail, the obligations and responsibilities of all reporting entities while

Mr. James and Ms. Lake provided insight into their respective roles and functions of SOCU and the office of the DPP.

It was repeatedly emphasised by the panelists, that the results based nature of the 4th round, is the yard stick by which effectiveness is measured and country ratings are applied.

The outreach saw a large turnout from various reporting entities within the Port Mourant to New Amsterdam area of East Berbice, Region 6.  The participants were appreciative of the exercise and suggested that similar exercises be conducted in the future. The question and answer session was vibrant.  Reporting entities candidly stated their concerns and the panelists responded in kind.

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