Guyana assumes Chairmanship of CFATF Forum

Guyana assumes Chairmanship of CFATF Forum for Heads of Financial Intelligence Units.

As day one of the 46th Plenary and Working Group Meetings of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) came to a close, Guyana’s Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Matthew Langevine was appointed Head of the CFATF Forum for Heads of the FIUs.

Langevine, in his remarks, said he looks forward to working with all the FIUs and is reasonably assured of the support mechanisms in place. These mechanisms, he noted, will help in the global and regional fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Guyanese FIU Head assured that he will serve in this new capacity with diligence and a high level of commitment. Langevine was appointed Head of the FIU in Guyana in September 2016.

The immediate past Chair of the august body is Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) – Turks and Caicos Islands, Dwayne Baker, who is also the Outgoing Co-chair of the CFATF Working Group on Risks Trends and Methods (CRTMG), which will now be chaired by Guyana’s Senior Compliance Officer of the FIU, Alicia Williams.

Earlier in the day, several key issues were addressed during the meetings of the Working Groups, including the work of the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for the Caribbean (ARIN-CARIB).

Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Jamaica, Grenville Harris in his presentation during the 27th Forum of the Heads of the FIU, stressed the importance of coordination and cooperation among member countries of the CFATF in strengthening mechanisms in recovering state assets.

CFATF Forum
Head of the FIU, Matthew Langevine appointed Chairman of the CFATF Forum for Heads of the FIUs.

ARIN-CARIB was established in June 2017 in response to a recommendation of the Group of Experts for the Control of Money Laundering of the Organisation of American States (GELAVEX/OAS).

The Regional Security System (RSS) was identified as an agency with the expertise to take forward the initiative drawing on the RSS Asset Recovery Unit’s (ARU) innovative approach to tackling serious organised crime in the Caribbean common law jurisdictions, through partnerships and the robust application of proceeds of crime and money laundering legislation.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines will assume the Presidency of ARIN-CARIB for 2018 for a period of one year, followed by Jamaica. Williams assured countries that assumption of the Presidency will not result in any additional financial burdens.

Guyana’s State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA) is headed by Professor Clive Thomas.

Head of the FIU – Turks and Caicos Islands, Dwayne Baker said that Guyana has adopted a “determined posture” in strengthening its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

CFATF Forum
Susan Francois, and Antonio Jose Morales Rodriguez, exchange a handshake following the signing of the MOU.

His comment followed a presentation by Guyana’s FIU Head, where he outlined several steps taken by Guyana to ensure full compliance with international standards, following a national risk assessment.

Law Enforcement Advisor of the CFATF, Pedro Harry provided an overview of Immediate Outcome Six (IO 6), which forms part of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Methodology for Assessing Compliance with the FATF Recommendations and the Effectiveness of AML/CFT Systems.

The FATF Fourth Round of Assessment involves two inter-related components for technical compliance and effectiveness.

The Technical compliance component will assess whether the necessary laws, regulations or other required measures are in force and effect and whether the supporting AML/CFT institutional framework is in place.

CFATF
Law Enforcement Advisor of the CFATF, Pedro Harry.

According to the Advisor, effectiveness looks at whether the AML/CFT system in a particular country is working and how well it is achieving the objectives which it sets out to do. Effectiveness, he noted, focuses on outcomes, not output.

Representatives for Guyana, Jamaica, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and others were afforded the opportunity to highlight measures being taken by their Governments, through their FIUs and other supporting agencies to strengthen their AML/CFT legislation.

The day came to an end with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago to establish procedures which will allow the Heads of the FIU in the two countries to share relevant information in a timely and effective manner.

The MOU was signed by Head of the FIU- Trinidad and Tobago, Susan Francois and her Venezuelan counterpart, Antonio Jose Morales Rodriguez.