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Guyana lacks the resources to go after money launderers - AG Nandlall

Attorney General Anil Nandlall Attorney General Anil Nandlall
Attorney General Anil Nandlall says the anti-money laundering legislation has vested a lot of power in the Financial Intelligence Unit and other agencies but Guyana lacks the resources to exercise those powers.

He made the comments on Monday at a PPP news conference at Freedom House.

“Guyana like many countries in the Caribbean does not have much of what it takes to investigate these matters.

The equipping the relevant agencies with the requisite resources is a tremendous task and Guyana is not singular in its inability to find all financial resources that are necessary to make this body fully operational,” Nandlall said.

According to the AG, the government was committed to doing what was necessary to get the bodies working. He pointed to the hosting of a recent workshop to launch a guide on how to confiscate the proceeds of crime as an example of that commitment.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill is currently before a parliamentary Special Select Committee and has to be passed by August 26 in keeping with international financial obligations. But at a news conference last week the APNU contended that the government had removed clauses from the bill which dealt with seizures.

According APNU executive Basil Williams, they had made recommendations that were adopted in Grenada whereby the Act in addition to facilitating seizures at ports of entry, would empower the authorities to seize suspected illegal proceeds throughout the country.

“That is, wherever you enter a house and you find large amounts of money, well the presumption is that it is from money laundering or financing of terrorism and they could seize it and it is up to you, you have a certain amount of time to come and challenge that seizure but the government doesn’t want that at all and we’re going to put that provision in,” he said.

The APNU and AFC last month used their majority in the National Assembly to send the bill to the Select Committee despite government’s insistence that it had to be passed by May 27 in order for Guyana to avoid sanctions.

Nandlall had attended the plenary meeting of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force last month end where he reported the government’s failure to get the bill passed in time. Upon his return he announced that Guyana had been given until November to have the legislation in place but it was last week disclosed that the actual deadline was August 26.

Nandlall has urged the opposition to put in whatever work was necessary to get the bill passed in time even if it meant pushing back the start of the parliamentary recess which runs from August 10 to October 10.

“Thirteen years we’ve been grappling with this so the bonafides … we’re not against strong anti-money laundering legislation but we’re not going to rush by days that keep changing; by the time we go back next week we may here it’s July,” APNU’s Deborah said last week.

Money laundering legislation was first instituted in 2000 before the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act was passed in 2009.

No one has ever been prosecuted for money laundering in Guyana.

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0 #18 FREDERICK DOUGLAS 2013-06-27 11:28
THESE ARE THE KINDS OF STATEMENTS AND EXCUSES YOU MAKE WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO COVER FOR YOUR FRIENDS WHO ARE WOEFULLY GUILTY OF THE CRIME YOU ARE ABOUT TO PURSUE. JUST DO IT YOU IDIOT !!!
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0 #17 Winston 2013-06-26 21:53
This is a reason for Granger to Take and talk later....just like the 1980s when he run Guyana the way he wants.
The Govt wants the BILL .... but what the oppositions want is for authorities to walk into home a seized money and assets of Business people and let them prove within day how the got what they have. This is not a bill its an Invasion the oppositions wants.
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0 #16 Winston 2013-06-26 21:46
Granger wants an biil where one can just walk in a man home seized and take all his money at home.....This SH!T don't even happen in the USA. This is an act of SADDAM HOUSIEN of IRAQ............
Granger is a Dictator in the making.
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0 #15 Page 2013-06-26 21:40
What Granger want is to have police to walk into people's home and take their money without asking questions. This is a move for the police to full them pockets and fund the Oppositions Election Camp. This is dictatorship by the opositions
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0 #14 Joe terwal 2013-06-26 19:49
Every Government can admit to having a bad pick in its Cabinet,this one is the worst. This guy looks and acts like a flim flam man. the only thing is, he is not even intelligent to pull it off. Woefully incompetent and it is there for all to see. I am sure the PPP can find more qualified and educated folk of his kind if it is their wish. But this lackey is an embarrassment to us all.
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0 #13 corrupt 2013-06-26 10:24
Quoting OBSERVER:
This freighting statement allegedly by the Attorney General of The CoOperative Republic ....sorry ... the Cocaine Republic of Guyana... is very, very DAMNING. Another thing...why was this news conference held at Freedom House and not at the Office of the Minister at the Ministry of Legal Affairs..???????????????


This chap has squarely put his foot up his behind. Because there is no way in hell he can now go back to the International community and complain about the money laundering bill not being passed, he is basically saying even with that bill the govt cannot do anything so he just screwed himself and the PPP. Surprised? no.
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-1 #12 corrupt 2013-06-26 10:23
Quoting Gerry:
No man is an island. That is why there are international organizations that can be called upon to assist. Guyana is part of a Global village. So stop using that excuse and do the right thing for the people.

This is a sad excuse by nandalall and its a cop out.

The PPP has the resources they do not have the will. If you can pay Raj Singh 25K USD a month and Dindyal at GPL 4 Million a month and all the other lackys running around who are unqualified you are telling me you still dont have the resources to fight money laundering which is directly tied to the drug trade? we are not buying this bull and the international community will not buy it either.
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+2 #11 Emile_Mervin 2013-06-25 18:01
Neanderthal does not have mental resources to think legally! Neanderthal should have his visas revoked until he goes after the known money launderers!
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+1 #10 dezetante 2013-06-25 11:46
Guyana is lacking resources to adress money laundering because the launderers are the ones that govern the land.
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+2 #9 KassemB 2013-06-25 11:00
Hope it's not an excuse for not trying and to allow the drug trade to flourished
in Guyana
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+2 #8 caban 2013-06-25 09:22
Mr Nandalall please tell us what purpose does the FIU serve if they are just gathering and storing information, the people involved in these illegal transaction will die of old age before being prosecuted does this makes any sense to you, storing information for a later day when it will be use, what later day do you really have a law degree or are you just plain stupid
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+1 #7 Youth Observing 2013-06-25 08:00
Is it that diddicult? What resources is this AG talking about? If someone has assests including liquid cash in their possession and they can't justify how they acquired these then you launch an investigation. You send the file to the DPP (not the Finance minister or the AG) for advice and you charge them under the laws that exist based on such advice. What other resources do you need? In actuality the most important resource you would need is competent law enforcement officers and prosecutors, etc. Isn't this the primary reason why many guilty persons go free in Guyana because of the tardy work of the police? It would be the same when it comes to financial crimes as it has been with other crimes.
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+2 #6 OBSERVER 2013-06-25 07:49
This freighting statement allegedly by the Attorney General of The CoOperative Republic ....sorry ... the Cocaine Republic of Guyana... is very, very DAMNING. Another thing...why was this news conference held at Freedom House and not at the Office of the Minister at the Ministry of Legal Affairs..?????? ?????????
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+3 #5 ashley singh 2013-06-25 07:10
Something seems to be radically worn with this JOKER. I may be mistaken, what this fool is saying is that even if the Money Laundering Bill is passed in parliament, there are no resources available to enforce it. How hypocritical?
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+3 #4 tallmangt 2013-06-24 23:47
This won't happen because most of the money launderers are ppp bed fellows, so that would always be the complaint...
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+1 #3 Paul 2013-06-24 23:46
That statement is as big a joke as his shirt and tie combo. When you're spending 51M USD of taxpayer dollars on an unnecessary hotel, don't speak about lack of resource. It makes you look like an idiot.
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0 #2 Ameer 2013-06-24 20:49
A load of bull.
You need resources / Put it in the Budget and I am sure the allocation will be approved unanimously.
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+1 #1 Gerry 2013-06-24 19:30
No man is an island. That is why there are international organizations that can be called upon to assist. Guyana is part of a Global village. So stop using that excuse and do the right thing for the people.
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