Hundreds of suspicious financial reports flood FIU- Director

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Financial Intelligent Unit (FIU) is combing through a rising number of reports of financial improprieties, as it continues to work together with the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU). This is according to head of the FIU Matthew Langevine.

Langevine told the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Tuesday, that suspicious reports from banks and money transfer agencies along with other categories of reporting entities have risen to over 200.

Matthew Langevine, Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

“We have looked into, a number of them and we have forwarded to the Special Organised Crime Unit. In excess of ten intelligent reports over the last twelve months,” Langevine told DPI on the sidelines of the 46th Plenary and Working Group Meetings of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) being held in Guyana at the Marriot.

The FIU’s primary mandate under the AML/CFT Act of 2009 is to receive, analyse and disseminate intelligence received from reporting agencies in terms of intelligence reports to the agency responsible for investigating money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

According to Langevine, over the last year, the FIU sought to focus on ensuring that all reporting agencies are aware of their responsibilities and begin taking steps to provide information required under the law.

“We have had some challenges putting that into effect. It requires a lot of training, a lot of outreaches with these entities, but I think we have done a commendable job over the last year in bringing on board several different categories of reporting entities.” These include betting shops, credit unions, security agencies and more recently real estate agencies, and car dealers,” Langevine said.

He further said while the receipt of information has been boosted over the last year, the next phase in the process is to try to increase the level of analytical work that the entity is required to carry out.

Though created in 2003, the FIU was severely understaffed and ineffective, resulting in no one being identified or prosecuted for the crime of money laundering and related activities in Guyana, in more than 13 years of its operation.

However, symbolic of the government’s commitment to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, in accordance with the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) standards, in June 2016, a new director of the FIU was appointed and the functional capacity of the unit was enhanced.

Further, whereas the last head of the FIU was recruited solely by the last Government, under the new administration, the FIU head, deputy head, accountant and other key positions were recruited through a parliamentary process that involved the Opposition.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

 

-for more photographs go to dpi flickr

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