Guyana to amend laws to facilitate easy extradition to US

Last Updated on Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 21:56 by Writer

Attorney General Anil Nandlall flanked by representatives of several State agencies that are a part of the AML/CFT regime.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall has told the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) that Guyana would next week amend its extradition laws to allow for “easy” extradition of persons to and from the United States (US).

“Next week we will enact a slew of amendments to our extradition laws which will make it easier for extraditions to take place from and to Guyana and in particular to and from the United States,” he told the CFATF 58th Plenary and Working Group Meetings in Trinidad.

In recent years, the US had commended Guyana for facilitating the capture and extradition of a number of persons from Guyana to the US. At least one person had been extradited from the US to face a murder charge in Guyana, but the charge was eventually dismissed.

A number of well-known persons are widely believed to be on the US radar for financial crimes. Mr Nandlall reminded the CFATF meeting that Guyana is now a member of the Egmont Group that facilitates and prompts the exchange of information, knowledge, and cooperation amongst member Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) across the world

Guyana has also issued a wanted bulletin for a Guyanese couple suspected of murder but fled to the US. A New York-based Guyanese anti-government political activist is also wanted by Guyanese police for several offences.

Guyana’s FIU was among several government financial regulatory and related agencies that were represented at the CFATF meeting. Other represented bodies were the Bank of Guyana, Ministry of Natural Resources, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Guyana Gold Board, the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Guyana Securities Council, the Treaty Office of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Realtors, cooperative societies and lawyers are expected to be governed under the ever widening CFATF legal and regulatory architecture.

“It should be noted that Guyana continues to vigorously pursue investigations, prosecutions and convictions of relevant predicate offences to immediately interrupt and eliminate proceeds of crime from penetrating the financial system and to prevent criminals from benefitting thereof,” the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs added.

Mr Nandlall said the Guyana government has “boosted” Guyana’s forensic investigative and prosecutorial of law enforcement agencies to
improving the effectiveness of investigations, prosecutions and convictions related to money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. “The State’s forensic capabilities has been bolstered by a modern forensic laboratory which is staffed by competent experts imported from India,” he added.

Boasting that Guyana’s laws are “modern, robust and sufficiently punitive”, Mr Nandlall highlighted that his country’s asset forfeiture regime was wholly adopted from a model legislation prepared by the Regional Security System (RSS) Asset Recovery Unit (ARU).

He said the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) had recruited additional staff in the areas of law, forensic audit,
accounting and investigations. Inter-agency cooperation between SOCU and the Office of the DPP has also improved, and resulted in more investigations and prosecutions, he said.