Financial crimes and the ongoing fight against them are taking centre stage at a special workshop for Caribbean Judges and Prosecutors.
The workshop, which opened this morning at the Pegasus hotel, is organised by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and supported by The Commonwealth and the Guyana Government.
Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General Basil Williams is the current Chairman of CFATF.
At the opening of the workshop he spoke about the need for stronger cases to be made in Courts and for more convictions to take place.
According to Williams, “while many of our countries in the Caribbean Region have enacted the necessary legislative measures to criminalize money laundering, as well as terrorist financing and proliferation financing, the overall rate of convictions and the confiscation of criminal proceeds have been moderate.”
Guyana has been stepping up its fight against money laundering and other financial crimes. Legislation has been put in place, but there have not been many cases taken before the Courts.
“If the global AML/CFT efforts are to be effective, it is absolutely necessary that countries also obtain convictions and pursue seizing and confiscating the proceeds and instrumentalities of crime for the benefit of States and victims. Additionally, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), is an important element in the fight against extremist who seek to recruit, radicalize and mobilize their followers to commit acts of violence”, Attorney General Williams said.
President David Granger also spoke at the opening of the workshop and highlighted efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism in Guyana. He also praised the efforts of CFATF in supporting that fight.
According to CFATF, the Workshop is the first of its kind to be held in the region and it seeks to provide a platform for gathering and sharing experiences, challenges and best practices in investigating and prosecuting money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as depriving criminals of their proceeds.
It will wrap up on Friday.