Guyana
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Guyana’s 4th round AML/CFT mutual evaluations begin

– as high-level CFATF team meets with Ministers, agency heads

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) Assessment Team has officially begun its evaluation of Guyana’s Anti-money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism/Countering Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) – a critical evaluation that will show how far the country has come.
The Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluation of Guyana’s AML/CFT architecture is part of the country’s international compliance obligations under the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Standards and Methodology. At the end of this On-Site Evaluation, a Mutual Evaluation Report will be prepared in Guyana and presented at the CFATF Plenary in March 2024.

The Guyanese and CFATF teams pose for a photo following their meeting on Monday

According to a release from the Attorney General Chambers, the CFATF Assessment Team held a High-Level Introductory Meeting on Monday at the Marriott Hotel, with Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn and Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat, along with various Heads of Agencies.
“The On-Site Assessment will be conducted from September 4, 2023, to September 15, 2023, during which the Assessment Team will interview various Ministers, officials, and Heads of Agencies including from the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Judiciary, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of the Commissioner of Police,” the release states.
“Other agencies that will be engaged during the process include the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Deeds and Commercial Registry Authorities, the Central Bank of Guyana, the Guyana Securities Council, the Guyana Police Force, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit, the Guyana Geology and Gold Mines Commission, the Guyana Gold Board, Real Estate Associations, local banks, insurance companies, accountants, cambios, among others.”
The CFATF team is meanwhile made up of Avelon Perry, Financial Advisor of the CFATF, who is assisted by Sunita Ramsumir, Co-Mission leader Legal Advisor of the CFATF. The other members of the Assessment Team are regional professionals in the AML/CFT/CPF Framework including Shana Donavan, Financial Assessor, Cayman Islands, Teron Greenidge, Law Enforcement Assessor, Grenada, Nikala Bazil, Financial Assessor, Dominica and Cassandra Seetahal, Legal Assessor.
In preparation for Guyana’s fourth round evaluation, the Government has worked to ensure that the country’s AML/CFT framework is updated. This included implementing a number of administrative decisions and measures, as well as strengthening many aspects of its legislative architecture.
One critical element to Guyana’s fourth round of mutual evaluation was the enactment of a Real Estate Bill. The draft Real Estate Agents & Brokers Bill was prepared in consultation with the various stakeholders in the local real estate industry, and was published for public feedback prior to its passage in the National Assembly earlier in August.
Another initiative aimed at addressing the gaps in Guyana’s financial sector in accordance with the AML/CFT stipulations was the establishment of a Compliance Commission that will supervise the operations of agencies and/or sectors in the country that do not have a direct regulatory body. The Compliance Commission Bill 2023 was also passed.
It was only last week also, that agencies involved in enforcing AML/CFT laws were brought together to sign a cooperation and information-sharing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), while a second MoU was signed by competent authorities, law enforcement agencies, and supervisory authorities.