Guyana hosting CFATF Conference signals major step -challenges in investigating and prosecuting money laundering to be addressed – member states to share experiences and best practices

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Some twenty-five member countries of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force will be in Guyana to participate in the Judges and Prosecutors Conference slated for May 3-5, 2018 at the Pegasus Hotel.

The Judges and Prosecutors Conference aims to gather experiences from practitioners on the challenges and difficulties they face while investigating and prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing.

Guyana holds the Chairmanship of the CFATF and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC, says the hosting of this important conference is demonstrative of the progress being made by a once blacklisted country.

Guyana is currently in the process of preparation for the fourth round of mutual evaluation and is continuously taking steps to strengthen its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime to ensure full compliance.

Member country, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) will be represented at the conference by its Chief Justice, Hon. Margaret Ramsey-Hale.

TCI is a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) via the operational unit, Financial Crime Unit (FCU) of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force. The Egmont Group is an informal network of some 156 FIUs and is headquartered in Canada.

While Guyana is not yet a member, Head of the local FIU, Matthew Langevine speaking on the sidelines of the 46th Plenary and Working Group Meetings held here in November, 2017, said Guyana attaining membership would be a significant achievement, since the country would have the opportunity to share and receive information pertinent to fighting money laundering and terrorist financing with FIUs around the world.

In Guyana, the FIU is an autonomous body responsible for requesting, receiving, analysing and disseminating suspicious transaction reports and other information relating to money laundering, terrorist financing and the proceeds of crime.

Under the Coalition Government, a Director and Deputy-Director were appointed to the FIU, the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) became functional and the AML/CFT legislation enacted in keeping with FATF’s recommendations.

By: Stacy Carmichael

Editor’s Note: 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.

The TCI Financial Services Commission (FSC), which is similar to Guyana’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is an independent statutory body tasked with supervising the financial services sector.

The FSC conducts on-site and off-site examinations to determine compliance with TCI laws and regulations and has the ability to issue sanctions for non-compliance.