The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has concluded its onsite visit and assessment of Guyana’s Anti-Money Laundering regime and sees the need for a unified approach in tackling money laundering by the various law enforcement agencies.
In a statement, the Attorney General’s Office also indicated that the team noted that Guyana was investigating money laundering and associated serious offence cases in line with the country’s risk assessment, but the delay in the administration of cases may have contributed to the current low conviction rate for money laundering.
The CFATF evaluating team said it found a number of shortcomings, including the need for Attorneys and Accountants to fully understand their AML/CFT obligations.
It also flagged the country’s low conviction rate of suspected money launderers.
The CFATF team found that there was a need for increased resources for the Ministry of Home Affairs to effectively carry out its functions.
But the Attorney General said despite the shortcomings, Guyana has demonstrated the ability to use formal and informal mechanisms for international cooperation, particularly through its regional mechanisms such as the Regional Security System (RSS).
“In terms of targeted financial sanctions for terrorism financing and proliferation financing, the team noted that the recent 2023 amendments have cured some of the technical deficiencies; nevertheless, due to the recent passage of the laws there may be a need to revise internal procedures in the implementation of such,” the Attorney General added.
Guyana was told that there is a possibility the findings could be changed upon further review of information submitted, however, no new measures after September 15, 2023 will be considered.
A number of government ministries, law enforcement agencies, state agencies, financial institutions, as well as private sector and professional organisations, were engaged in the assessment.
The official findings will be presented to the CFATF Plenary in mid-2024 when it is held in Trinidad and Tobago.
Tthe Attorney General said from all indications, Guyana as a jurisdiction, acquitted itself favourably, and received much praise during the assessment.