Representatives from the World Bank have committed support towards strengthening Guyana’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. Moreover, in a meeting held at the Ministry of Legal Affairs on July 29, 2019, members of the AML/CFT National Coordination Committee and the visiting World Bank Team, discussed the methods of technical and advisory support for strengthening Guyana’s AML/CFT regime.
High on the agenda was technical assistance to conduct critical updates to Guyana’s ML/TF National Risk Assessment (NRA). Mr Gulliaume Herve Mathey, Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank, explained that an updated NRA would be necessary as the World Bank has improved the tool used in Guyana’s last NRA conducted during 2016-2017. This was supported by his team member Mr Matei Dohotaru, Financial Sector Specialist, of the Financial Stability and Integrity Unit.
As a result, it would be necessary for Guyana to conduct another NRA to reassess all the threats and vulnerabilities that may exist at a national and/ or sectoral level. Additionally, as Guyana prepares for first oil next year, several new risk factors will have to be considered.
The World Bank has developed a guide for countries conducting their ML/TF risk assessment. This guide is in the form of a methodological risk assessment tool. It is an Excel-based model that enables countries to identify the main drivers of their ML/TF risks.
The Tool will assist Guyana in conducting a self-assessment of the ML/TF risk and vulnerabilities locally.
This approach is in line with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). FATF recommendation one requires that countries identify, assess, and understand the ML/TF risks within their jurisdiction and then implement a risk-based action plan and apply resources to mitigate the identified risks.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Basil Williams, S.C, M.P noted that the visit was timely, as the AML/CFT NCC had commenced planning for the country’s next national risk assessment, which must be completed well in advance of Guyana’s next Mutual Evaluation scheduled for 2022. The World Bank team is currently in Guyana conducting a scoping mission of the country’s AML/CFT Framework and will be meeting with several other stakeholders involved in the AML/CFT regime in Guyana.