Guyana pursuing membership of Egmont Group

  • Int’l body for financial intelligence units

DPI Guyana, Friday, July 6, 2018

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is actively pursuing membership of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units as it continues to build its capacity to tackle money laundering.

Head of the FIU, Matthew Langevine said Guyana achieving membership of the Egmont Group allows for the country to share information with other international FIUs freely and through a secure online link.

Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Matthew Langevine

He was speaking at the recently hosted Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing National Risk Assessment Seminar.

The FIU Head said Guyana’s application for membership was first made in 2014, under the previous PPP 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).

However, 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.

Guyana was challenged to acquire two sponsors, which include two members of the Membership and Compliance Working Group of the Egmont secretariat.

The FIU, at the CFATF plenary, hosted here in November 2017 engaged the regional representative of the Egmont Group and has received favourable feedback following a visit to the FIU’s local office by a team from Egmont.

“They were satisfied that Guyana has what it takes to become a member and they would have also volunteered to assist us in finding sponsors,” Langevine said.

He expressed optimism that with the intervention of CFATF’s Chair AG Williams and support from other countries, Guyana will secure membership of the Egmont Group.

According to Langevine, “that will change the landscape for cooperation for intelligence sharing because a lot of activities involves the movement of currency and funds across national borders and so it is very important that we become a member of the Egmont Group.”

The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, headquartered in Canada, was created to provide FIUs around the world a forum to exchange information confidentially to combat money-laundering, the financing of terrorism and other related offences.

By: Stacy Carmichael