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By Zena HenryThe local United States (US) Embassy has offered a timely reminder that foreign-associated financial transactions within the country can become even more difficult if Guyana does not finalise the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill.US Chargé d’Affaires Bryan HuntThe Embassy’s most senior official,Jerseys From China, Chargé d’Affaires, Bryan Hunt,China Jerseys Cheap, has thus reiterated the position of the United States in encouraging Guyana to have the issue urgently addressed.“The next parliament formed (after) May 11 (General Elections) absolutely must make passage of the Anti-money Laundering Bill a top priority,” the diplomat emphasised.For more than two years the government and the combined opposition have been haggling in Parliament over amendments of the Bill’s contents and the condition for its passage. There are two overseeing bodies; the regional arm,NFL Jerseys Wholesale, Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and international arm, Financial Action Task Force (FATF).The regional body has already warned its members against Guyana’s non-passage of the Bill and encouraged added counter measures to be put in place when conducting financial transactions here. The international body has done a review on the matter but gave the country time to work out its issues to have the Bill made into law.Hunt told Kaieteur News during an interview last week that there are serious economic ramifications for Guyana if the legislation is not passed.“The US does not wish to see a situation in which international action is necessary that would restrict Guyanese financial flows further.”The Chargé d’Affaires said that the US continues to urge all parties that as soon as the new parliament convenes after elections,NFL Jerseys Cheap, to have the Anti-money Laundering Bill addressed expeditiously. This is to ensure that when Guyana is reviewed again by the Financial Action Task Force, the government will be able to present a Bill that fully conforms to all the international recommendations.It was related that the US conforms to the recommendations of both the CFATF and FATF. Hunt said that FATF when it reviews any country will look to see if international standards are being met. If these standards are not found in place, they will give the country an opportunity to take the necessary corrective action; which is where Guyana is now.After reviewing Guyana, FATF highlighted a number of areas that have to be addressed for the passage of the internationally-required legislation. Guyana’s timeframe for this to occur was given in July of last year, when the government’s chief spokesperson announced that the country was given four more months to work on the Bill before its review.Hunt said however, that when FATF again sits to review Guyana and finds that sufficient progress has not been made to meet those international recommendations, they will then recommend to the global financial community to take additional steps to protect their financial systems from threats that may emanate out of Guyana.“That in practical terms would mean that US banking institutions, like Western Union, Money Gram and other financial agencies that deal with the transfer of money overseas, will need to do additional scrutiny on those attempting to send money to and from Guyana.” It also means that additional cost and time will be involved, posing a significant problem to the Guyanese economy, Hunt posited.He warned that this scenario will be the outcome globally and not just with the United States.“The recommendation will go out to all countries around the world that deal with the Guyanese financial system. They too would place similar additional scrutiny.”Hunt reminded that the Caribbean arm has already instructed its members against Guyana’s financial system, and that includes the US, which follows the regional body’s recommendations.In some cases Guyana has already started to experience delays and additional costs in financial transactions. This Hunt attributed to the regional arm’s advice.“If FATF were to also move in the same direction of CFATF you could expect that those times and cost could increase further and they would apply not only to those countries of CFATF, but to the global financial community as a whole.”CFATF is the first point of review in the international process of having the Bill passed. The body makes determinations in relation to countries in the region. They will then forward countries’ cases to the global body if they are not in conformity with regulations.The Bill in question seeks to close avenues that allow for the illegal transfer of unregistered funds between countries. These funds could be used for the wrong purposes, especially to finance terrorist actions, hence the global community’s moves to have measures within its membership that prevent such financial movements.However,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, the Guyanese Parliament, now prorogued, had extreme difficulty in the passage of the Bill. Not only did the foreign bodies have difficulty with identified deficiencies within the Bill, but the local opposition parties were also uncomfortable with its contents. The opposition was not only dissatisfied that they had little to no say in the Bill’s amendments, but claimed that there existed flaws that needed to be addressed.Of particular interest was a section highlighted by former Presidential Advisor and Financial Analyst Ramon Gaskin who, in 2013, had highlighted certain powers to the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General which allowed them to blacklist entities based merely on “reasonable grounds” without due process. They also had the power to reverse the process.The opposition also used the Bill’s passage to demand the approval of certain entities required by law, but were not made operational by the government.A Cabinet-approved team which included Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall went to Miami, Florida, late last year to plead Guyana’s case before representatives of CFATF and FATF. He said that Guyana would “surely” be blacklisted.The Government Information Agency however, stated in October of last year that the country was once again able to avoid being blacklisted. It said that the country remained subject to “ongoing process in improving compliance”. However,Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic, with Parliament currently prorogued and elections looming, the Bill’s passage is on hold.
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