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Select Committe still to meet on Money Laundering Bill

davaid 13thAs deadlines  loom for Guyana to bring itself in line with worldwide anti-money laundering laws, the Special select Committee of Parliament  is still to meet to continue work on the bill that is before the National Assembly. Leader of the Opposition  David Granger  when asked if the Opposition had a problem with Gail Teixeira  as chair of the Select committee said that  the opposition has no problem with who chairs the Committee. The bill is listed on this Thursday ‘s order paper but will not be proceeded  with at that sitting.

Guyana failed to meet the November 18 deadline to pass its AML financing of Terrorism Bill and as such the CFATF had told its members to consider taking Measures against Guyana to protect themselves against financing of terrorism and money laundering.

Guyana is required to pass the relevant legislation and implement all the outstanding issues within its action plan, including fully criminalising money laundering and terrorist-financing offences, addressing all the requirements on beneficial ownership, strengthening the requirements for suspicious transaction reporting, international co-operation, the freezing and confiscation of terrorist assets, and fully implementing the UN conventions.

Since then Trinidad for example has warned its companies to exercise caution when doing business with Guyana and very recently Suriname newspapers reported that local financial analysts are concerned about Guyana’s position and believe that it could have a negative effect on the banking sector in Suriname since Guyanese businessmen may want to channel  their business through Suriname.

The Caribbean FATF will be looking back at Guyana’s case in May by which time the bill is expected to be passed and other aspects of the Act operationalized. The France based FATF will have a meeting in February and could scrutinize Guyana’s case and take action if they see it fit.

Parliament on December 19 last voted to send the bill back to the select committee which had hastily finished its work and submitted a bill to Parliament without the opposition members present .Chairperson of the Committee Gail Teixeira had said all efforts wer e made to get opposition imputs while Opposition Leader David Granger  said then that they wanted to ensure a bill that fully covers all the bases.

The government in November when the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force had its meeting had painted a picture of gloom for the impact on the non passage of the bill on financial transactions like money transfers and payments for commodities .

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