Guyana will definitely be blacklisted – Nandlall
– Says government is working on non legislative components of the Anti money Laundering bills
Taking into consideration that Guyana has missed the August 26 deadline stipulated by Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) for the amendment of the amended Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act, Attorney General, Anil Nandlall has noted that “we will surely be blacklisted.”
The AG said that Guyana will be assessed by that very report come November 13.
He emphasized that when CFATF continues its assessment of Guyana, the country will be placed on a list of delinquent nations.
Nandlall said that the Bill remains set for continuing consideration when Parliament resumes but noted that by then it will be too late.
He also noted that once placed on the blacklist it takes time before a country can be removed. He pointed out that Trinidad and Tobago was blacklisted since 2005 and it was only removed from that list in 2011.
He added that when blacklisted, other countries are invited to act as they see fit. “It has a domino effect; our banks will suffer, it will affect Western Union,” he said. Ties can be completely severed.
The AG noted however, that, Government is working to ensure that the non legislative components of the Bill are complied with. He said that Government launched numerous initiatives including the establishment of a National Task Force.
Guyana missed this deadline after the Opposition members, who were all in attendance at a Special Select Committee meeting, set up to fine tune the Bill, moved a motion to adjourn all meetings at that level until October.
The motion was moved by APNU member and Former Minister of Finance, Carl Greenidge. It was seconded by Alliance For Change (AFC)’s Khemraj Ramjattan.
Members of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), at that time, told Kaieteur News that Guyana is already “dark gray listed” and that the Government itself is linked to acts of money laundering. It was also noted that the party doesn’t believe that the August 26 deadline really did exist.
APNU’s shadow Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams had said that the “artificial deadline” is not a threat to APNU since Guyana is already on a “dark gray list” He added that more people are to make presentations to the committee, including the Bar Association.
Greenidge raised a concern that the draft didn’t take into consideration, “aspects” that the opposition is of the opinion, need to be taken into consideration.
He said that the act of itself has several inadequacies and the draft as well is insufficient.
“As usual all the power is placed in the hands of the executive…Government appoints the Commissioner of Police, the head of Customs, the judges; it basically arranges the appointments of those who will supervise the operation.”
Further, Greenidge asserted that “Government itself is tainted by criminalities that bedevil our system…The PPP have been accused, and in some cases, proven to have associations with people who have been charged with all sorts of criminalities like fraud and money laundering in the United States. The government is very friendly with these types of people.”
The former Finance Minister said that the current legislation should have allowed the government to deal with incidents of money laundering, but doesn’t.
Only after the work of the committee is completed and a revised Bill presented to the National Assembly along with a report from the committee, can the Bill be voted upon and passed.
In July, CFATF confirmed Guyana’s deadline for amending the legislation with respect to the amended Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act.
Roger Hernandez, Financial Advisor of CFATF had told Kaieteur News that amendments to the legislation have to be passed in the National Assembly and enacted before August 26, so that it could be submitted and analyzed.