Member of Parliament for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and former Police Commissioner Winston Felix believes the Government ought to show more commitment in the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering.
Felix told an APNU Press Conference on Thursday that there should be no separation between drug trafficking and money laundering since the two support each other.
“This Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Finance Terrorism Amendment is very important to the national security of this country”, Felix said. He added that Guyana has seen a number of issues surrounding unexplained murders “which can only point in the direction of drug trafficking”.
The former Commissioner of Police said “we have seen challenges to the state when armed citizens can attack not just one policeman but a police patrol ” and such attacks should be seen as a “red flag” that the government ought to take notice of and resolve to fight drug trafficking and money laundering.
He said money laundering is known for giving strength to the drug traffickers and that must not continue. The Member of Parliament said drug traffickers must be weakened by monitoring suspicious transactions and carrying out seizures. Felix said there is need for the Financial Investigations Unit to be established and for it to get to the bottom of the money laundering problem in Guyana.
Guyana is considered one of the key transshipment points for cocaine meant for the European and American markets. Over the past ew years, there have been a number of unexplained execution type killings that have all been linked to the drug trade.
Guyana has been given a deadline of May 27, 2013 to come in line with the international community an its fight against money laundering. Amendments to existing legislation are to be made but the amendments have found themselves stuck in a special parliamentary committee.
APNU Executive and Member of Parliament Joseph Harmon said he believes the Government is trying “set a trap” for the Opposition by providing them with documents related to the amendments in an untimely manner and expect the Special Select Committee to meet an approaching deadline. He said the APNU will not shirk from its responsibility to ensure proper legislation is put before the House.
The Alliance for Change has already indicated that it does not intend to support the Bill because of President Ramotar’s decision not to sign into law, Opposition Bills that were passed by the National Assembly. The Government has chastised the AFC for that new position.