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“We don’t know about any dirty money”- Bank of Guyana’s Governor

Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga.

Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga says central bank’s figures do not show any evidence of dirty money being passed through the financial sector.

“We don’t know about any dirty money,” he told a news conference when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.

Ganga said the Bank of Guyana has the capacity track informal sector activities, but not dirty money. He, however, said Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and money supply shows a ratio that “seems to be the same.”

That appears to be in stark contrast to recent claims by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan’s position that the economic downturn appeared to have been partly influenced by drug proceeds of crime since the government changed at the May, 2015 general and regional elections.

The Central Bank Governor could not say if there were any laundered proceeds of crime in the banking sector, but global trends including those in developed nations show that the informal sector ranges between 30 and 40 percent.

“We do have an informal sector here and there are other kinds of activities happening in the informal sector but for us to be able to indicate some estimate that will be very difficult,” he added.

Dr. Ganga said the Guyana Police Force should be one such agency that should be involved in identifying those kinds of activities. “The police would have been in a better position to identify where certain and what kind of activities are occurring,” he added.

The Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU)  is tasked with probing crimes such as money laundering, gold smuggling and the financing of terrorism.

The Bank of Guyana said suspicious transactions that are picked up during inspections of commercial banks would be reported to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Asked whether the Central Bank has picked up information that GYD$40 billion were recently deposited into an account at a local commercial bank, the Central Bank Governor appeared surprised and said he was unaware of such a huge or similar transaction. “We would have seen that anywhere from the information that would have been provided to us almost on a daily basis in terms of commercial banks’ deposits so we haven’t seen anything to that level,” he said.

The Bank of Guyana also monitors credit unions, insurance companies and will soon be focusing heavily on payment systems and agencies like those being used to pay Old Age Pensions, Public Assistance, National Insurance benefits and receiving payments such as the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

  • Emile_Mervin

    How can the BOG Governor say with a straight face that no evidence exists to show dirty money passed through the financial sector? At last 40% of the formal economy is propped up by dirty money from the informal economy.
    And dirty money includes money received from the government for contracts towards projects that were never executed or so poorly executed as to render the contract unfulfilled.
    For example, Jagdeo gave Fip Motilall US$15m to build the Amalia road and he never built it. Once that money entered the financial sector, it became dirty money, because it constitutes THEFT. If yo go in any store and pay for an item and the store does not give you the item you purchased, then the store is in legal trouble.

    • Col123

      I get what you are suggesting but your argument is circular…with a bogus premise…thus your off the cuff conclusion…it is either drug money in the economy or none… thieving money still is clean money as it supports the local economy and whore houses..etc…

      • Emile_Mervin

        Don’t rush to advertise your naivete, bro. I make no off the cuff claim, but refer you to KN, February 28, 2009, which carried a news story, “Guyana’s large informal economy vulnerable to money laundering,” in which it was reported that ‘experts estimate the informal economy is 40%-60% of the formal’. In fact, these experts were cited by the US State Department in its 2007 Country Report. And back in 2009, Bank of Guyana said the same thing as it does now: it can’t detect dirty money in the legitimate financial sector.

        Conversely, it was then President Jagdeo, in 2010 or one year after the Financial Intelligence Unit was set up, who hypocritically questioned why no money launderer was indicted as yet. Truth was, he knew of the vital role of money laundering to the formal economy.

        BTW, if you honestly hold a circular or rectangular view that money stolen, via questionable government contracts, is clean money since it supports the local economy, then we simply don’t share the same perspective. No need to milk this purely academic point.

        • Col123

          OK..I acquiesce to your position on my view about “stolen ” money… it could be my definition since I am not a student of economics……your point about the formal economy being propped up by dirty money from the informal economy conflicts with the growth forecast down sizing and every excuses made by the GoG about the challenges of our “clean economy “…am I on track ?

          • Emile_Mervin

            Google and read the KN story I referenced above, or any related SN article, to grasp the point of two economies under the PPP. This was encouraged by the PPP, which was why Jagdeo refused to turn over Roger Khan to the US DEA.

            Yes, there was the formal economic forecast of 2%, 3%, or 4% growth, or the achievement of some growth. However, there were tons of dirty money circulating in the formal economy, including multiple high rise buildings, expensive imported vehicles, mansions furnished with imported items, and an affluent lifestyle.

            Things even got so bad that legitimate businesses with loans and huge overheads began complaining of money launderers who washed their money into regular businesses and were undercutting legitimate businesses.

            While in Guyana 2012, I heard of a Guyanese who engaged in the drug trade and made it big time. Nice guy. He went to the US Embassy with property documents and bank statements to get a visitor’s visa. He was told to return with his income tax papers. He never went back. There are many like him with tons of wealth but no traceable records of their sources of income and taxes paid.

          • Col123

            Thanks EM.

  • Col123

    This dude is not a good liar…and he tests the air flow with his hair every time he speaks… just the other day, there was no foreign currency, next day with Jordan fingers in his butt, we have plenty of them foreign currency!!!… where is Jordan?…this dude needs his help…

  • rs dasai

    Col & Emile
    Perhaps we should explain and show the Gov and the Min of Fin how it is done. Yes?

    • Col123

      Granger is surrounded by a bunch of fools… the poor chap is up the creek with lots of useless paddles!… he needs to put both his feet in the water to push that boat…