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first_img… AG Chambers to hold training for lawyers, auditorsThe Attorney General (AG) Chambers has announced that it will be organising Anti Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) training and sensitisation workshops for attorney-at-laws, accountants and auditors,This comes even as Guyana prepares for the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) fourth Round Mutual Evaluation, scheduled for the first quarter of 2022. According to a notification from the Chambers, the workshops will be held on Friday and Saturday of this week.The first one, will cater specifically for the Lawyers. The second training session, for the Accountants and Auditors, will last for three hours. Both sessions will be conducted at Cara Lodge hotel.“These engagements are critical as Guyana prepares for its CFATF evaluation, and more so, given that the Money Laundering vulnerability levels for Attorneys-at-Law and Accountants/Auditors are generally considered to be high, based on AML/CFT trends globally.”“The workshops are intended to highlight the obligations of the Attorneys-at-Law and Accountants/Auditors, who are classified as Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions (DNFBPs) under local AML/CFT legislation. These categories of DNFBPs are required to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit.”The chambers went on to explain that this is done only when, on behalf of or for a client, they engage in financial transactions as outlined under Section 18(11) of the AML/CFT Act 2009 (amended).“Further, in keeping with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Standards, these DNFBPs should be effectively supervised, to ensure their effective compliance with their obligations to assist in protecting the international financial sector and playing their part in combating ML and TF in Guyana and worldwide.”It was only recently that Calvin Wilson, a former Executive Director of the CFATF, had expressed concern over the negative effect the troubles at the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) could have on Guyana’s international status on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) watch list.The state of SOCU, Guyana’s main money laundering investigation arm, came to light when information was leaked to the media from a probe being conducted by the Guyana Police Force (GPF), which had unearthed irregularities that included falsified records and missing documents.According to reports, there was even a case of an official who alleged that his signature was forged. In addition, there are reports of listed expenditure being concocted and receipts being backdated.“If an important arm of the state is deemed to not be efficient at doing its job, in the anti-money laundering architecture, it means that the country is not meeting the international standards to be efficiently implementing the FATF recommendations,” Wilson had explained.“It means when the country is assessed, the report by the assessor will say exactly what (the headlines about SOCU say in the newspapers. It will identify the deficiencies and based on the ratings in the report, potentially the country can go back into the review for having the shortcomings.”He had given examples of Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands, who he noted are being reviewed with their systems having been found wanting by the task force during their evaluations. Wilson also spoke of the effects Guyana being blacklisted would have on the economy. “Potentially, if Guyana continues in this area, if there are no prosecutions, if there are deficiencies in other parts of the architecture, it means potentially the country can be placed on this (review) list.”Wilson had referenced Recommendation 19 of FATF, which urges countries and financial institutions to exercise greater diligence when dealing with countries deemed as higher risk. These recommendations including limiting business transactions with such countries.last_img read more

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