Fe­wer re­stric­ti­ons as Gu­y­a­na exits FATF watch-list

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

Mi­nis­ter of Bu­si­ness, Do­mi­nic Gas­kin, be­lie­ves that Gu­y­a­na fa­ces fe­wer re­stric­ti­ons in do­ing bu­si­ness with other coun­tries.

This is be­cau­se this na­ti­on has exi­ted the watch-list of the glo­bal An­ti-mo­ney Laun­de­ring and Coun­te­ring the Fi­nan­cing of Ter­ro­rism com­pli­an­ce pro­cess of the Fi­nan­ci­al Ac­ti­on Task For­ce (FATF),

Gas­kin told re­por­ters at the launching of the Mi­ni­stry of Bu­si­ness’ 2020 Stra­te­gic Plan, fi­nan­ci­al in­sti­tu­ti­ons in other ju­ris­dic­ti­ons are re­qui­red to com­ply with the laws and re­com­men­da­ti­ons of their au­tho­ri­ties that are res­pon­si­ble for an­ti-mo­ney laun­de­ring and coun­te­ring of fi­nan­cing of ter­ro­rism.

“So just li­ke how we ha­ve our fi­nan­ci­al in­tel­li­gen­ce unit, the­re is an equi­va­lent in other coun­tries and they are re­qui­red to im­ple­ment risk mi­ti­ga­ti­on me­a­su­res against coun­tries that are non-com­pli­ant; so now that we are off of the list, it cer­tain­ly ea­ses so­me of the pres­su­re on tho­se coun­tries to not do bu­si­ness with Gu­y­a­na.” The Mi­nis­ter said that the exit of Gu­y­a­na from the FATF watch-list is evi­den­ce that the govern­ment has been coo­p­e­ra­ting and im­ple­men­ting FATF re­com­men­da­ti­ons. Gas­kin said that as of now he be­lie­ves Gu­y­a­na has sa­tis­fied all of the FATF re­qui­re­ments.

It was re­por­ted by At­tor­neyGe­ne­ral Ba­sil Wil­li­ams that for Gu­y­a­na to remain ef­fec­ti­ve un­der the FATF re­gime, the­re needs to be mo­re con­vic­ti­ons to show suf­fi­cient pro­gress on ef­fec­ti­ve­ness.

Af­ter re­turning from his trip to Pa­ris, Wil­li­ams held a press con­fe­ren­ce last week whe­re he said, “Gu­y­a­na can­not be com­pla­cent as the fourth round Mu­tu­al Eva­lu­a­ti­on beck­ons, whe­re the test is whe­ther we would ha­ve shown “suf­fi­cient pro­gress on ef­fec­ti­ve­ness, for example ha­ving mo­re con­vic­ti­ons for of­fen­ces of mo­ney laun­de­ring, ter­ro­rist fi­nan­cing and the pur­loi­ning of sta­te as­sets.”

When as­ked how equip­ped is the govern­ment in go­ing af­ter per­sons sus­pec­ted of mo­ney laun­de­ring ba­sed on the new de­vel­op­ment, Wil­li­ams said that the first mo­ney laun­de­ring Act was pas­sed in 2000 but no one was ever in­ves­ti­ga­ted or char­ged.

“Bet­ween 2000 to the ti­me we took of­fi­ce no one was ever pro­se­cu­ted for any mo­ney laun­de­ring of­fen­ce in Gu­y­a­na. It is on­ly when we took of­fi­ce, pe­o­p­le we­re not just in­ves­ti­ga­ted but they we­re al­so char­ged and ta­ken to court.”

Wil­li­ams said that a lot of tho­se ca­ses ha­ve not re­sul­ted in con­vic­ti­ons. He said that in so­me si­tu­a­ti­ons mo­ney as well as gold bars we­re re­tur­ned to their rightful pla­ce. Howe­ver, he ex­plai­ned that this will not be suf­fi­cient in the fourth round.

“In the fourth round, we will ha­ve to show ef­fec­ti­ve­ness and that we are ma­king suf­fi­cient pro­gress, In other words, con­vic­ti­ons. We can’t tell them we char­ged a hund­red pe­o­p­le and we don’t ha­ve con­vic­ti­ons.” He said that Gu­y­a­na needs to do work in this re­gard be­cau­se if ini­ti­al in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on is do­ne and this area is mis­sing, the coun­try can re­turn to the In­ter­na­ti­o­nal Co-ope­ra­ti­on Re­view Group (ICRG) re­view pro­cess. He stres­sed that what is im­por­tant he­rein­af­ter is a lar­ge de­gree of self-as­sess­ment.

“We ha­ve to start en­su­ring that all of the­se legal fra­me­work and re­gu­la­to­ry fra­me­work are ef­fec­ti­ve­ly ad­dres­sed in the fourth round. By ti­me 2020 we must be ab­le to show re­gu­lar con­vic­ti­ons for mo­ney laun­de­ring of­fen­ces.”

(Kai­e­teur news)

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