GUYANA
Summary
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Sanctions

None

FAFT AML Deficient

No longer on list

Higher Risk Areas

 

Compliance with FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations

Not on EU White list equivalent jurisdictions

Corruption Index (Transparency International & W.G.I.)

World Governance Indicators (Average Score)

Medium Risk Areas

 

US Dept of State Money Laundering assessment

Weakness in Government Legislation to combat Money Laundering

Failed States Index (Political Issues)(Average Score)

 

 

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING

 

FATF Status

Guyana is no longer on FATF’s list of aml deficient countries.

 

FATF Statement re AML Strategic Deficiencies: 21 October 2016

The FATF welcomes Guyana’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Guyana has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified in October 2014. Guyana is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s monitoring process under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process. Guyana will work with CFATF as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its mutual evaluation report.

 

CFATF Statement re AML Strategic Deficiencies: 30 May 2014

As a result of not meeting the agreed timelines in its Action Plan, the CFATF recognises Guyana as a jurisdiction with significant AML/CFT deficiencies, which has failed to make significant progress in addressing those deficiencies and the CFATF considers Guyana to be a risk to the international financial system. Members are therefore called upon to implement further counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana. Also, the CFATF has referred Guyana to the FATF.

Countermeasures could entail, among others, the requirement of enhanced due diligence measures; introducing enhanced reporting mechanisms or systematic reporting of financial transactions; refusing the establishment of subsidiaries or branches or representative offices in the country concerned, or otherwise taking into account the fact that the relevant financial institution is from a country that does not have adequate AML/CFT systems and limiting the business relationships or financial transactions with the identified country or persons in that country.

 

Background Information

In November 2011 the CFATF brought to the attention of its Members certain jurisdictions including Guyana with significant strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime. With a view to encouraging expeditious rectification of the identified strategic deficiencies Guyana and the CFATF developed an Action Plan with identified target dates to address the strategic deficiencies that exist in Guyana’s national architecture to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The CFATF issued a public statement in May 2013 recommending that Guyana took steps to ensure that it addressed its AML/CFT deficiencies. Additionally, in November 2013 CFATF issued a further public statement calling upon its Members to consider implementing counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana. Guyana has failed to pass the relevant legislation necessary for it to significantly improve its AML/CFT regime and therefore has not substantially addressed the outstanding deficiencies from its mutual evaluation report. The CFATF urges Guyana to urgently, immediately and meaningfully address its AML/CFT deficiencies, in particular by: 1) fully criminalising money laundering and terrorist financing offences, 2) addressing all the requirements on beneficial ownership, 3) strengthening the requirements for suspicious transaction reporting, international co-operation, and the freezing and confiscation of terrorist assets, and 4) fully implementing the UN conventions. Please refer to the 6th follow-up report on Guyana, available at www.cfatf-gafic-org for greater details.

 

Compliance with FATF Recommendations

The last Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Guyana was undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2011. According to that Evaluation, Guyana was deemed Compliant for 1 and Largely Compliant for 5 of the FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations. It was Partially Compliant or Non-Compliant for all 6 of the Core Recommendations.

 

US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR)

Guyana was deemed a Jurisdiction of Concern by the US Department of State 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).

Key Findings from the report are as follows: -

 

Historically weak law enforcement and judiciary systems, coupled with endemic corruption and organized crime activity, contribute to a favorable climate for significant money laundering in Guyana. Although narcotics trafficking and corruption are alleged to be the primary sources of laundered funds, the laundering of proceeds from other illicit activities, such as human trafficking, contraband, kidnapping, gold smuggling, tax evasion, and vehicle theft, is substantial.

Guyana is neither an important regional or offshore financial center, nor does it maintain any free trade zones. Guyana’s geographic location makes it an ideal haven for transnational organized crime groups, including human and drug trafficking organizations. It continues to be a transshipment route for South American cocaine and heroin destined for the United States and for cash returning to South America. Smuggling of the precursors to methamphetamine is also a problem. In addition, there are reports indicating the narcotics trade may be linked to arms trafficking involving Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

There is a culture of using informal networks to move money between Guyana and the diaspora. For example, it is common to use cash couriers or informal familial networks to move large sums of money. Unregulated exchange houses pose a risk as they also are used both for the exchange of currency and to transfer funds to and from the diaspora. Finally, casinos are legal in Guyana and may pose a risk for money laundering. Guyana has only one casino.

 

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SANCTIONS

There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.

 

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BRIBERY & CORRUPTION

 

Index

Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)

Transparency International Corruption Index

34

World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption

23

 

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INVESTMENT CLIMATE - Executive Summary (US State Department)

Guyana’s investment climate took a downward turn in 2013 as political gridlock and infighting hampered the country’s development efforts on several fronts. The Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, which would have been the largest capital project in the country’s history, fell apart after a decade of planning when U.S. developer and equity partner Sithe Global withdrew from the multinational development team in August 2013. The company had concerns related to political risk following objections to the venture by the country’s largest opposition party. Guyana’s failure to crack down on money laundering — including parliament’s inability to pass legislation strengthening Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) laws — has resulted in the country being blacklisted by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). Further action by the international Financial Action Task Force could result in increased costs and delays in processing international financial and trade transactions. The government continues to encourage foreign investment, but has had limited success in attracting that investment outside of the gold mining sector. Perceptions of corruption, inefficient government, inadequate infrastructure, and crime remain barriers to attracting foreign investment.