October 1, 2016

IMF urges Govt to promptly address anti-money laundering deficiencies

Anti moneyThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government to “promptly” address the deficiencies in its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) framework so as to ensure full compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.

This call came days after an IMF staff team, led by Marcos Chamon, concluded a visit to Guyana to hold discussions for the 2016 Article IV consultation.

“While recent steps towards strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework are welcome, the authorities should address remaining deficiencies promptly. The authorities are urged to accelerate the implementation of the action plan agreed with the Financial Action Task Force,” the team said in a statement posted on the IMF website.

In December, Attorney General Basil Williams stated that there were still a number of recommendations the country needed to fulfil before it could become fully compliant with FATF and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) requirements.

Guyana is currently on the FATF light grey list (for those that have developed an action plan) and on the CFATF enhanced follow-up list, Williams had stated.

He explained that Guyana would remain on these lists until it dealt with the outstanding recommendations, but, quickly pointed out that it appeared it was an ongoing process:

In explaining why Guyana was not fully compliant with CFATF/FATF recommendations, Williams highlighted that several recommendations might have several components; therefore, if a country satisfied nine of the 10 components, it would still be rendered “not fully compliant”.

Upon assuming office back in May 2015, the Government moved to pass a series of contentious amendments to the AML/CFT Bill, despite objections from the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which argued that the proposed amendments contained some provisions that had been rejected by the CFATF, as well as the FATF, and Government ran the risk of passing into a law a bill that may not be compliant with international requirements.

A mere six months after the Bill’s passage, the Government returned to the National Assembly last December with a number of Government amendments to the amended Bill.

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