Guyana eyes year-end membership of Egmont Group – FIU head

─ application revived

DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 15, 2019

Guyana’s move to becoming a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units could become a reality as early as the end of 2019 or early 2020. This is according to Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Matthew Langevine.

Director of the FIU, Matthew Langevine.

Membership of the Egmont Group will increase Guyana’s level of international cooperation, including the sharing of intelligence with the likes of FIUs around the world.

The FIU head told the Department of Public Information (DPI) in a recent interview that Guyana’s application has now been revived.

Application to the group was first made in 2014, under the previous government but was not supported, because of the country’s blacklisted status with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

After exiting the third round of mutual evaluation in 2016, under the stewardship of the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams SC., the application was reactivated.

According to Langevine, the process of becoming a member of the Egmont Group was changed over the years. One requirement was that of acquiring sponsors within the region.

“We were very proactive in reaching out to a number of countries. November last year, Guyana got the commitment of Trinidad and Tobago and the British Virgin Islands as sponsors. There was a preliminary visit by the head of FIU in the BVI. Who walked through with the FIU,” Langevine said, adding that Guyana’s case is being built by the sponsors to be taken to the Egmont Group.

“Guyana is expecting that its membership will be finalised by the end of 2019 or early 2020,” he said.

The Egmont Group is a united body of 159 Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). It was created to provide FIUs around the world a forum to exchange information confidentially to combat Money-Laundering, the Financing of Terrorism and other predicate offences.

Langevine, who served as Head of the CFTAF forum of Heads for 2018, stressed the importance of Guyana becoming a member of the international FIU group. During his stint as head, he said Guyana was able to increase the number MOU’s with countries regarding the sharing of information. Langevine said Guyana signed MOU’s with Barbados and Jamaica last year.

“Since those MOU’s have been signed, much work was done. There have been information exchanges with those countries and a number of other countries which have had MOU’s before. It just demonstrates the importance of having those relationships,” he told DPI.

Alexis Rodney.

Image: Kawise Wishart.

Editor’s note: Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an intergovernmental organisation that designs and promotes policies and standards to combat financial crime

CFATF is an observer member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an intergovernmental organisation that designs and promotes policies and standards to combat financial crime.

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