Drug traffickers may soon find it tough to wash their ill-gotten gains by investing in the booming gold industry if all goes well, a senior official said Monday.
Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud said a team of legal experts have been “mandated to study the issue” of persons with dirty profiles entering the industry.
He explained that under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Acts, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commisssion (GGMC) and the Guyana Gold Board would have to abide by “reporting obligations.”
“I am concerned and we are concerned that we may have actors who may want to get involved in the sector that may not have or enjoy too much of a clean background in this regard,” he said.
He later told DemWaves Online News (www.demwaves.com) that government hoped that
Legal Adviser to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Rosemary Benjamin-Noble said the mining laws do not provide for the screening of prospective miners.
“Once we are not specifically required to deal with that aspect, it’s going to be a little difficult for us to say ‘you’re excluded but you’re not’ and the basis for it because, off course, everything comes back to evidence,” she added.
The United States State Department’s 2005 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report had identified now convicted drug trafficker Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan as an exemplar of drug traffickers gaining a significant foothold in the timber industry with the purchase of
In that cable, the American envoy had credited government with being too cozy with Khan and would have done little to facilitate his arrest.
Khan was arrested in