The Guyana Police Force and the Financial Intelligence Unit are probing a ponzi scheme that might have left more than 17,000 Guyanese counting their losses.
In a statement this afternoon, Attorney General Anil Nandlall announced the probe, which he said was triggered after receiving dozens of complaints in relation to the operation of the unlicensed financial outfit that was based on the East Coast of Demerara.
The Guyana Securities Council informed the Minister that it had raised concerns about the financial operations of the financial agency that encouraged persons to invest their money as part of a foreign exchange initiative and be promised large sums in return.
Some persons might have been duped out of millions.
The Attorney General said the Government was launching a multi-sector approach, to investigate the operations of the ponzi scheme with a view of reimbursing monies to the persons who “invested” in
Persons with relevant information that could assist the probe are being encouraged to make contact with the Crime Chief of the Financial Intelligence Unit.
The Attorney General said it is clear that the business has already violated several pieces of legislation that cover financial crimes and money laundering.
He noted that under the Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act, it is required for all investors to provide the source of funds
and ensure that the financial activities and money laundering risks associated with a customer are properly recorded.
The Guyana Securities Council never received any application from the company to operate any financial business in Guyana. The Securities Council had repeatedly warned the company about its concerns and had forwarded those concerns too to officials of the former government.
The company is believed to be headed by two foreign nationals who attempted just after the change of government to register the platform with the Securities Council. However, when they were told of the various requirements they will have to meet including details of their funds and provision of financial records, the company never continued the process.