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Govt collaborating with OAS to toughen efforts to combat illegal mining – AG – Guyana Times

…US, RSS also provided support to Guyana on AML/CFT

The Government has been reaching out and partnering with multilateral organisations, including the regional Organisation of American States (OAS), to confront trans-national crimes including illegal mining.
During his year-end press conference, Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, spoke of the Government’s efforts to combat trans-national crimes. This includes illegal mining, and according to the Senior Counsel, the Government has partnered with the OAS, of which Guyana is a member.
“We have also partnered with the OAS, in training programmes to help us improve our capabilities to detect and investigate and convict in the area of illicit and illegal mining,” Nandlall explained.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC

“We had a massive workshop during the last week of November and the first week of December, where a team from the OAS and the US Embassy collaborated with Guyana’s national AML/CFT task force. And we had a protracted engagement.”
In July 2023, there were reports that Brazilian federal authorities had launched an investigation into a Guyanese businessman suspected of laundering millions worth of illegally mined gold into that country.
The probe was initiated after authorities discovered the involvement of an alleged Guyanese businessman with ties to the gold mining industry in Guyana, who conducts business in Brazil under suspicious circumstances. Reports were that Federal Police agents suspected that the Guyanese businessman had a Brazilian partner who aided in the movement of funds through the companies.
The Government itself had also launched an investigation into whether gold smuggling/illegal trade is responsible for a disparity highlighted by dropping gold declarations that was at odds with the investments being made in the sector.

During Nandlall’s press conference, mention was also made of the Regional Security System (RSS), another multi-lateral organisation Guyana is party to. According to the AG, Government is also working with the RSS to combat money laundering and financial crimes.
“We have partnered with the Regional Security System, RSS Asset Recovery Unit. And we have held a number of workshops in Guyana during the year 2023. These workshops and training sessions have been attended by all the important players in our national task force on AML/CFT.”
“They include the Judiciary, the Magistracy, the DPP, the Guyana Police Force, CANU, the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Guyana Gold Board, the Guyana Gaming Authority. And the Bank of Guyana,” the Attorney General said.
The RSS was set up through an agreement within the Caribbean Community (Caricom) for the defence and security of the Eastern Caribbean region. Only in 2022, Guyana was asked to become a member of the steering group of one of the RSS’s operating arms.

File photo: The RSS team during its visit to Guyana last year, as they met with President Dr Irfaan Ali

Late last year, President Dr Irfaan Ali had received a visit from the leaders of the RSS team, who were in Guyana for an annual meeting. While hosting the delegation at State House, President Ali had informed them of the importance of a regional approach to security when it comes to confronting conflicts and disasters.
The Head of State also highlighted to the RSS team, the importance of food and energy security, both of which Guyana has been prominent in promoting on the regional and international stages.
The Guyana delegation consisted of Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn, and National Security Advisor Captain Gerry Gouveia. Meanwhile, the visiting delegation was led by the Executive Director of the RSS and Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Errington Ricardo Shurland.
The RSS delegation also included Heads of the Defence Forces and Police Forces from St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Guyana (Chief of Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan, and Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken). (G3)

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