Guyana off European Commission’s money laundering list

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, May 5, 2020

Guyana has been delisted from the European Commission’s money laundering list, joining countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sri Lanka and Tunisia, as those countries, work to table legislation to guard against money laundering and terrorist financing.

This is according to the European Commission, in a new comprehensive plan to further strengthen its fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The delisting of countries will enter into force in 20 days after the official publication of the plan.

The Commission amended the list in the form of a Delegated Regulation. It will now be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for approval within one month (with a possible one-month extension), given the Coronavirus crisis, the Commission stated.

In the meantime, countries found with strategic deficiencies in their regime regarding anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing include; The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama and Zimbabwe.

In May 2017, the European Commission had proposed that Guyana be removed from the money-laundering blacklist, however, it was not until 2019 that the country was not included on the strategic deficiencies list.

Along with its updated list, the Commission has published an ambitious and multifaceted Action Plan, which sets out concrete measures that the Commission will implement over the next 12 months to better enforce, supervise and coordinate the EU’s rules on combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The aim is to have a more comprehensive approach and to shut down any remaining loopholes and remove any weak links in the EU’s rules, the Commission stated.

Under the Coalition administration, Guyana has made significant progress on the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) front; the Ministry of Legal Affairs has conducted Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) outreaches and sensitisation seminars throughout the country.

It has also placed much focus on Co-ops, charities and developing the Special Organisation Crime Unit (SOCU) and other agencies critical to the fight against Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism.