Committee reviewing anti-money laundering law now meeting more often
Published: December 14, 2008 in News
The special parliamentary committee reviewing the proposed anti-money
laundering law has begun its deliberations on the substantive provisions of
the long-awaited legislation.
The special select committee was created by the National Assembly June last
year to examine the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Finance of
Terrorism Bill 2007.
After a year-long hiatus, the committee started meeting in June.
"[The work] is not moving as fast as we would have wanted," AFC MP Raphael
Trotman admitted recently. "We are now looking at ways to speed it up," he,
Based on public notices, Trotman said, the committee received several oral
and written submissions from various stakeholders; in addition to public
institutions like the Bank of Guyana and the Guyana Association of
Securities Companies and Intermediaries Inc and private citizens like
accountant Christopher Ram. He explained that the committee is now
considering the legislation clause by clause and three weeks ago it began
meeting on a weekly basis.
The Bill provides for oversight of export industries, the insurance
industry, real estate and alternative remittance systems. It also caters for
the establishment of the Financial Intelligence Unit as an independent body
answerable only to the president and strengthens it by giving it broader
roles and responsibilities.
The new law is thought to be a significant improvement over previous
anti-money laundering legislation, covering the freezing and forfeiture of
assets owned or controlled by persons suspected of being involved in money
laundering activities. President Bharrat Jagdeo had given a commitment for
the passage of the law by July, saying that it was government's intention to
move forward with the legislation in a way that would facilitate Guyana
becoming an offshore financial centre (OFC).
Trotman, however, said he has heard no word about this plan and he noted
that Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, who chairs the committee, has not
raised it in connection with the Bill. According to Trotman, regulations to
facilitate Guyana's development as an OFC might require special legislation.
At the same time, he noted that it would require "a lot more than
legislation," citing the need for a stable political environment. "And that
is not being done," he said, adding "I have not heard anything about it
The 2008 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report said the government
needs to pass effective legislation to deal with money laundering, including
provisions allowing forfeiture of seized assets. The report noted that the
government made no arrests or prosecutions for money laundering in 2007. It
added that money laundering is perceived to be a serious problem here and
has been linked to trafficking in drugs, guns and persons as well as to
fraud and corruption.
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1. a person says:
December 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm
Who woke up the government? we shall wait & see what law
they are going to pass.... Are they going to protect the drug lords? Only
time will tell...
2. a person says:
December 14, 2008 at 5:41 pm
Would the new law have a safety net for the DRUG LORDS .
Parlement shuuld get off their backside & write a law to outlaw DROUG LORDS
3. LINDENBANNA says:
December 14, 2008 at 7:31 pm
I EVEN FORGOT THAT GUYANA HAS A PARLIMENT,,,, THEY ALL NEED
TO MIGRATE PERMANENTLY AND LET THE COUNTRY BREATHE. WHAT A WASTE OF SPACE