Guyana gets $30M support from US to strengthen its anti- money laundering regime

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 28, 2017

In recognition of the critical role the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) plays in the fight against money laundering, and the value of software to support its work, the United States (US)  government has agreed to cover the cost of the initial training and support service required to implement a ‘ibase software programe’.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan and Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway and Meanwhile, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Matthew Langevine during a press briefing at the Ministry of Finance, Main Street.

The training and support service will be facilitated by the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) at a cost of just over $30M.

Minister Winston Jordan said that the ibase Software will enhance the ongoing fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, locally. He explained this today, at a press briefing, at the Ministry of Finance, Main Street Office.

The minister explained that the scale of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing has risen globally. This, he added, has led to an increased predental, macro-economic and national security risk in countries where these illicit activities are prevalent.

The Minister said that the Government of Guyana is aware of the need for improved data collection and management from an array of pertinent sources, “and better an incisive data analysis to effectively monitor and identify red flags and suspicious transactions that warrant deeper investigation.”

“Accordingly the government’s acquisition of the globally recognized ibased software which was developed by IBM will allow the intelligent financial unit to more easily map and import data and information from both structured and unstructured sources into the centralized repository. It will also help to hasten the pace at which data and information are analyzed, connections are found and actionable results are generated,” Minister Jordan explained.

He also noted that it will also facilitate comprehensive searches for intelligence in records, run complex queries on the data and offer security, rich data access capabilities that will improve the data security integrity, and access.

Minister Jordan described the assistance as  timely, noting that, “it underscores the value of meaningful partnerships in a collective fight, to rid the two countries of contaminated activities and transactions.

“Already, Guyana is suffering the effects of disquiets by several US (United States) based banks. We are therefore comforted by gestures of this kind”, Minister Jordan emphasized.

Ambassador Perry Holloway  explained that once completed, FIU analysts will have the most up-to-date technology, for detecting illegal financial activities.This will place the agency on par with their international counterparts.

The new initiative, the Ambassador said, will significantly enhance the capabilities of the FIU in Guyana, and its mandating mission of combatting money laundering and terrorist financing, and protecting the local financing sector from being infiltrated with the proceeds of crime.

Meanwhile, Director of FIU, Matthew Langevine  said that the quantum of data that is received by the FIU, organizing and getting value out of that data received, is difficult given the limited human resources available and the lack of technology. He said that the unit is excited about this tool being made available,  and the impact it will have on the efficiency and its effectiveness.

Guyana’s remains in the fourth round of the CFATF evaluation process, which requires the country to demonstrate effectiveness of the AML/CFT regime. This new initiative will help the country towards demonstrating that long term efficiency.


By: Synieka Thorne


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