Gov’t building capacity to dismantle criminal enterprises
Government is building its capacity to target the assets of persons involved in criminal activities as it aims to dismantle criminal enterprises.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, said targeting the proceeds from criminal activities is a fundamental component in the administration of criminal justice.
He said that studies have shown that hitting criminals at their asset base is essential in the fight against organised crime, money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
“This is one component that admittedly has not been the subject of the type of focus that it should have been over the years, and the time has come for us to change that. Our government is committed to moving in this direction,” he stated.
The Attorney General was at the time delivering remarks at the opening of an asset recovery workshop. The two-day activity which commenced on July 19 is a collaborative effort with the United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the National Center for State Courts.
Building the capacity of criminal justice agencies in the areas of financial crime and asset recovery is the focus of the workshop. This will ensure that Guyana has the institutional capacity to deal with crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion, accounting fraud and embezzlement corruption.
The Attorney General stressed that equal to the prosecution and investigation is aligned the consequential process of following the proceeds of the illicit activities with a view of forfeiture.
“No longer will we ignore that component of the enforcement of the law, for too long we have done that. Our government’s approach is holistic and as we are pursuing going after the proceeds of crime, we are also improving, developing and modernising crime fighting at every level,” the Attorney General noted.
Minister Nandlall disclosed that his ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, is in the process of recruiting qualified personnel that will enhance the forensic capabilities of the state’s investigative apparatus.
There is also continuous training for members of the Guyana Police Force in a number of areas, to deal with the evolution of criminal activities. This is coupled with the continued investment in improving the prosecutorial capabilities of the state. The asset recovery workshop will see the development of best practices for law enforcement, financial investigators, state prosecutors and state attorneys in the area of asset recovery.