- Written by JASON SMITH
- Published: 22 October 2014
The international standard-setting body in the fight against money laundering may soon sanction Guyana for failing to modernise its laws.
On Saturday, the Financial Action Task Force began a weeklong meeting in Paris during which it is scheduled to discuss the issue. If the group decides to blacklist the country, international financial transactions involving Guyana will be subject to extensive and costly scrutiny, officials fear.
In May of last year, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, a regional division of the global FATF, announced that Guyana had not made “sufficient progress” in correcting deficiencies in its anti-money-laundering regime.
As a result, the 27-member group placed the country on a “non-mandatory” blacklist last November urging members to voluntarily subject Guyanese financial transactions to added scrutiny.
Six months later, the CFATF blacklisted the country as a “high-risk jurisdiction for money laundering.”
If the FATF concurs with the regional sub-group’s decision, the blacklisting of Guyana could be extended internationally.
Guyana Attorney General Anil Nandlall has said that the country is “on the precipice” of being fully blacklisted, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation.
The Guyanese government is currently being led by the Progressive National Party under the leadership of Prime Minister Sam Hinds. But to pass new legislation, the PNP must gain the support of opposition parties because it lacks a legislative majority, according to the CMC.
Opposition parties would like to see more oversight of the proposed legislation’s provisions put into the hands of parliament as opposed to being under ministers’ control, according to Ronald Saunders, a columnist and former CFATF chairman.
“The two sides are now locked in a power struggle and are failing to compromise in the national interest,” Mr. Sanders wrote in an article published last month.