The Ministry of Finance has issued a number of warnings about the possible implications Guyana could face as a result of being blacklisted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).
According to the Ministry, the decision by CFATF “to encourage its member countries to consider implementing counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana is most unfortunate.”
In a statement issued on Saturday the Ministry of Finance said that as a result of the warning, Guyana’s credibility in the international community will be severely damaged.
“International business relations with Guyana will be subjected to intense scrutiny which inevitability will become bureaucratic and costly for investors. Such environments will undoubtedly detour investor interests and ultimately limit Guyana’s marketability”, the statement added.
But the Ministry of Finance was clear to point out that countries which have been blacklisted and received similar warnings have responded differently based on their unique economies.
It said only time will tell how Guyana will respond to the blacklisting. The Ministry listed a number of possible consequences in the business community that could come Guyana’s way as a result of the CFATF blacklisting. The list of possibilities could see the following:
- Persons who receive remittances/ cash via money transfer systems, may experience delays in receiving the transfer. There may also be an increased processing fee resulting from additional paperwork.
- Proof of income and identification of the sender of such remittances will be enhanced. Persons most likely to be affected by this are undocumented aliens who reside abroad.
- The transfer of money from local to external banks will be delayed as international banks begin to severe ties locally.
- This delay in bank transfers or severing of financial ties with local banks can affect fuel prices and ultimately the cost for travel and commodities.
- Local businesses may experience delays in the shipment of goods as additional paperwork will be required to prove that a business is legitimate and not a shell company laundering monies or financing terrorism.
- Enhanced scrutiny will be implemented to verify the source and destination of all monies.
- Persons who shop online and use debit and credit cards to conduct such transactions may find their transactions are denied or delayed.
- Insurance services (fire, life, mortgage etc), most of which depend on reinsurance from abroad, are also expected to experience delays, additional filing of paperwork and possibly increased fees.