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US Ambassador to Guyana weighs in on the controversy surrounding the Anti-Money Laundering Bill – 23rd May 2013

shot0024The United States Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hradt has declared that the Guyana Government has not initiated a single case against people who are suspected as money launderers in the country, under the current Financial Crimes Law.

This is the first time that the leading western diplomat has publicly weighed in on the current impasse between the Government and the majority in the House on the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill 2013.

However, he believes that getting parliamentary approval for the amendments is critical before Guyana comes up for review later this month.

Under the current Financial Crimes Law the Financial Intelligence Unit, an agency within the Ministry of Finance, is tasked with gathering information on suspected money launderers.

The Ambassador said St. Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded many successes in Anti-Money Laundering in going after big drug traffickers instead of the small guys in the streets who sell marijuana.

The Government is due to defend its efforts to stem financial crimes when the Plenary Meeting of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) meets in Managua, Nicaragua.

The non-passage of the amendments to the Money Laundering Bill could shame the Guyana Government for failing to act and could put the country on an international blacklist for not doing enough to combat money laundering and stopping financing for terrorism.

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