According to Guyana’s Attorney General, Basil Williams, the work of judges and prosecutors is crucial to consolidating stable and effective institutions, integrity, transparency and the rule of law, which are all pillars of an effective anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing system. The AG was at the time addressing a workshop for Judges and Prosecutors at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown.
The AG noted that the main objective of the workshop for Judges and Prosecutors is to continue the outreach to the Prosecutorial Services and Criminal Justice System, which is an initiative by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Williams noted that similar global workshops have been conducted jointly between the FATF and FATF Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs) in Quito, Ecuador in September 2017, in Shenzhen, China in January 2018, in Tunisia in February 2018 and more recently Strasbourg, France in March 2018.
While many of our countries in the Caribbean Region have enacted the necessary legislative measures to criminalize money laundering, as well as terrorist financing and proliferation financing, the overall rate of convictions and the confiscation of criminal proceeds have been moderate, he noted.
“If the global AML/CFT efforts are to be effective, it is absolutely necessary that countries also obtain convictions and pursue seizing and confiscating the proceeds and instrumentalities of crime for the benefit of States and victims. Additionally, Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), is an important element in the fight against extremist who seek to recruit, radicalize and mobilize their followers to commit acts of violence,” Williams stated.
The AG said that the focus for the next two days centers around issues relating to investigative orders, the prosecution and management of Money Laundering Cases, International Co-operation, confiscation and restraint orders, conviction-based confiscation and terrorism/terrorist financing.
The outcomes of previous workshops held by the FATF in other regions of the world demonstrate that there are a great number of common challenges and practices to be addressed with regard to issues such as resources, risk understanding, international cooperation, proper asset recovery and management, the applicable standard of proof and admissibility of classified information as evidence signaling the crucial significance for having this Workshop.