State, law enforcement agency members trained to advance financial justice
Members of state and law enforcement agencies have commenced a three-day workshop hosted by the Ministry of Legal Affairs in collaboration with the Regional Security System’s (RSS) Asset Recovery Unit, which will equip them with technical skills and knowledge to advance financial justice in Guyana.
The workshop which opened at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Wednesday will see participants examining issues including forfeiture of assets earned from criminal activities, cryptocurrency, money laundering, and organised crimes, among other related offences.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, delivered the feature address at the opening ceremony, noting that the initiative signals the administration’s commitment to fighting corruption, by equipping key stakeholders with technical skills to combat money laundering and other AML/CFT-type offences.
“It is our government’s firm commitment to reduce criminal activities of every kind if not to stamp it out completely. The type of criminal activities that we are dealing with here specifically, require a unified approach,” according the AG.
Since the workshop focuses on financial investigation and asset recovery, Minister Nandlall pointed out the importance of hitting criminals and organisations in their pockets, to effectively combat the sore issue.
“Admittedly we have focused on investigating and convicting for the offence and jailing the convict and we leave it like that…that cannot continue anymore, as we are investigating for the offence…simultaneous with that investigation must be the investigation into the acquisition of assets believed to be derived from the criminal conduct. We have to now approach both types of investigations with the same seriousness and emphasis,” the Attorney General stressed.
“You as law enforcement agencies, as investigators, and as prosecutors have to respond. If you don’t then you would be outmaneuvered, outmatched. This is a battle; it is a war; it is you against them,” Minister Nandlall added firmly.
Speaking virtually, RSS’ Executive Director, Captain Errington Shurland encouraged participants to engage actively and to share the knowledge gained with other key stakeholders.
Assistant Commissioner of Police and Head of Special Branch, Errol Watts welcomed the initiative and urged law enforcement officers to utilise their integral skillsets which will enable them to make stronger cases before the courts.
Meanwhile, Assistant Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Diana Kaulesar-O’Brien expressed the importance of a unified approach needed to be successful in the fight against financial and organised crimes.
Participating agencies include the Guyana Police Force, Special Organised Crime Unit, Customs Anti Narcotic Unit, Criminal Investigation Department, Guyana Revenue Authority, Gaming Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit, and Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.