Chairperson of CFATF calls for diligence in conducting business

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, February 11, 2018

Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General (AG) Basil Williams SC, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Caribbean Financing Action Task Force (CFATF) has issued a call for persons to be diligent whilst conducting their business affairs.

The AG made the call at an Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) outreach and seminar held in Berbice, Region Six on February 9.

The meeting held at the Tej Mohall Hotel targeted staff of the Guyana Revenue Authority, commercial banks, corporations, Insurance companies, Superbet agents, Lottery agents and auto dealers.

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

The scope of the requirements will involve two interconnected units – technical compliance and effectiveness. The technical compliance unit will evaluate whether the necessary laws, regulations or other required measures are in force and effect and whether the supporting AML/CFT institutional framework is in place. The effectiveness component will assess whether the AML/CFT systems are working, and the extent to which the country is achieving the defined set of outcomes.

Attorney General Williams explained that the fourth round will see the government eliminating several challenges in order to have Guyana completely removed from the group of blacklisted countries. According to the AG, this fourth round will be more straightforward than the first, second and third rounds that have already been eliminated since this government took office.

He expressed the need for Guyana to work towards successfully exiting the fourth round of mutual evaluations and not fall back into being a blacklisted country. The AG solicited the cooperation of the reporting agents/entities present at the seminar in realising this goal.

AG Williams said those agents/entities have an obligation to ensure that companies follow the necessary requirements and file their information annually, he stressed that they needed is ascertain who the correct persons are behind the ownership or management of these various companies

Also addressing the forum was Director of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Matthew Langevine, Head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) Sydney James, and Director of Bank Supervision Department of the Bank of Guyana Ramnarine Lal.

This was the second such seminar to be held in the region following one held in New Amsterdam in November last. Similar seminars are slated to be held in each region.

By: Tanuja Raikha

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