Second National Risk Assessment nears completion

– as Guyana gears for 4th round of mutual evaluation

Guyana is one step closer to its fourth round of mutual evaluation by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force /Financial Action Task Force (CFATF/FATF), with its second National Risk Assessment nearing completion.

With the emerging oil and gas sector, the national risk assessment has become necessary, as it identifies money laundering and terrorist financing risks to the country.

Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Matthew Langevine said the second risk assessment evaluates new and emerging industries, to determine whether money laundering threats exist and how those threats could be addressed in a timely manner.

Director, FIU Matthew Langevine

“We are almost finished the second national risk assessment and what that does is it helps us to understand how the financial sector is changing. We have a new and emerging oil sector, and internationally there are many risks and threats to money laundering,” Mr. Langevine told DPI in a recent interview.

Guyana was commended for completing the critical assessment, ahead of its regional counterparts, at the recently-held Caribbean Development Bank and World Bank virtual conference on corruption, compliance and cybersecurity.

Mr. Langevine said the second assessment is at a “very advanced stage.” An initial report has been completed by a 70-member working group from the private and public sector. That report will be shared with the World Bank, which will in turn provide guidance, where necessary.

The FIU head said he is optimistic that the national risk assessment report will be completed early in the new year.  

Meanwhile, Mr. Langevine said Guyana continues to collaborate with other stakeholder agencies across the region, in its preparation for the fourth round of evaluation.

Earlier this month, the country completed the CFATF Annual Plenary, and participated in the heads of FIU forum. Mr. Langevine said continued co-operation and collaboration with regional partners allows the Unit to be effective.

The FIU also used the period of the pandemic to ensure staff completed online training programmes that were available through the United Nations Organisation for Drug Control (UNODC) and other agencies.

“A key part to ensuring that we are ready is ensuring that we develop our staff and 2020 provided an opportunity because of the pandemic to do a lot of online training. Our staff are increasingly becoming more prepared and competent in terms of completing the work of the FIU and making our job easier,” he told DPI.  

Guyana, along with several Caribbean countries, will be assessed at the fourth round of mutual evaluation in 2022.

During that round of compliance monitoring, the CFATF will conduct reviews to assess the countries’ levels of implementation of the organisation’s recommendations, providing an in-depth description and analysis of the system for preventing criminal abuse of the financial system.