Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2016, 0:04 by Denis Chabrol
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).