Greater collaboration needed as gov’t zeros in on financial crimes

As government intensifies the fight against financial crimes, an aggressive approach is being taken to advance Guyana’s Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/PF) regime.

This has been outlined in the National Policy and Strategy for Combating Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing, and the Financing of Proliferation.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC

The policy aims to guide the implementation of strategic measures in the continuing fight against these financial crimes.

Further, recognising that this arduous task cannot be implemented in isolation, the policy outlines that continuous engagements with the private sector to facilitate private-public cooperation and partnerships will be a seminal part of the strategic approach.

It recognises an AML/CFT/PF National Coordination Committee (NCC), that will have the responsibility of defining, overseeing, and coordinating the implementation of the national strategy, as well as coordinating Guyana’s participation in the international effort against financial crimes.

It states, “It will be in charge of ensuring effective mechanisms are in place to facilitate cooperation and coordination among policy makers and key AML/CFT stakeholders,”

Moreover, the policy emphasises the importance of having increased coordination and cooperation among the competent authorities, and it outlines the attachment of sanctions for failure to produce information in a timely manner through enforceable means.

The policy adds that additional memoranda of understanding will be signed among the competent authorities for information sharing to facilitate the analysis and investigation of these crimes.

It outlines eight strategic objectives, all of which are to be enhanced in keeping with international standards:

  1. Ensuring policy coordination to mitigate ML/TF risks
  2. Strengthening the capacity of the AML/CFT/PF legislative framework

by amending and enacting laws and regulations.

  • Strengthening and clarifying the AML/CFT/PF supervision framework
  • Enhancing the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) capabilities
  • Enhancing investigation and prosecution capabilities with increased resources
  • Increasing cooperation and coordination among domestic competent authorities
  • Enhancing regional and international cooperation
  • Ensuring adequate, accurate, and up-to-date information on beneficial ownership and control of legal persons and legal arrangements to prevent abuse by criminals or terrorists.

The policy noted that government’s efforts to address and combat these crimes have received international recognition, as Guyana recorded improved rankings in international reports such as the United States’ Department of State International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) and the Transparency International Corruption Index.

Further solidifying Guyana’s improved stature on this frontier, the country has been removed from the European Union’s Blacklist on Taxation.