GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Ministry of Legal Affairs has partnered with the Regional Security System (RSS) to host a Financial Investigation and Asset Recovery workshop to enhance the state’s capabilities to fight financial crimes.
The workshop aims to strategically address some of the identified deficiencies in Guyana’s anti-corruption legislature and demonstrates the government’s commitment to the rule of law.
Attorney-General and minister of legal affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday at Duke Lodge, Georgetown, stressed the importance of ensuring that Guyana has a robust financial system and the capabilities to tackle any new challenges that may emerge from the rapidly growing economy.
“It is a very holistic approach to training and preparing ourselves to meet the modern changes and to meet the modern obligations which Guyana as a nation-state has to discharge at the international and regional level,” he said.
Among the areas slated for discussion is civil forfeiture, which is a legal process used by governments to seize assets that are suspected to be the proceeds of crime. The attorney-general said this area is very important in strengthening Guyana’s Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.
This has also been one of the areas identified for attention following Guyana’s mutual assessment exercise by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. The recently passed Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act of 2023 also presents provisions for civil forfeiture.
According to the AG, these provisions position Guyana as having one of the most modern civil forfeiture legislation.
“We now have to orient ourselves from a policy perspective and do the training to ensure that we know how to approach what I believe is a fairly new area of the law. Hence, the training embraces both the judiciary as well as the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the state. It is a comprehensive approach,” the AG stressed.
The sentiment was echoed by Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Justice Yonette Cummings, who added that in light of the economic transformation underway, there is an increased need for regional collaboration to build capacity in various areas of law.
The workshop runs from October 9-13 and will see the participation of judicial officers, magistrates, and various state and law enforcement agencies, such as the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Revenue Authority.