Guyana – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

 

 

Guyana is neither an important regional nor offshore financial center. It continues to be a transshipment route for South American cocaine and heroin destined for the United States and for cash returning to South America. Smuggling of the precursors to methamphetamine is also a problem. Reportedly, the narcotics trade may be increasingly linked to arms trafficking involving Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

Historically weak law enforcement and judiciary systems coupled with endemic corruption and increasing organized crime activity contribute to a favorable climate for significant money laundering in Guyana. Narcotics trafficking and corruption are alleged to be the primary sources of laundered funds; however, the laundering of proceeds from other illicit activities, such as human trafficking, contraband, kidnapping, tax evasion, and vehicle theft, is substantial.

Guyana‘s geographic location makes it an ideal haven for transnational organized crime groups, including human and drug trafficking organizations. There are free trade zones operating in the country. There are no reported hawala or other money or value transfer services. Casinos are legal in Guyana and may pose a risk for money laundering.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

 

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

 

PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: YES
    • Domestic PEP: YES

Guyana – KYC covered entities

 

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Guyanese Law:

    • Depository institutions
    • Lending institutions and credit issuers
    • Financial leasing entities
    • Money transfer and exchange services
    • Pawn brokers
    • Guarantors and underwriters
    • Traders of foreign exchange, futures, options and securities
    • Financial advisers
    • Money brokers
    • Credit unions
    • Portfolio managers and administrators
    • Gaming centers and lotteries
    • Insurance entities
    • Venture risk capital
    • Trusts or company service providers
    • Legal professionals
    • Real estate agents
    • Dealers in precious metals and stones
    • Registered charities

Guyana – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

 

Number of STRs received and time frame: Not available

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Guyanese Law:

    • Depository institutions
    • Lending institutions and credit issuers
    • Financial leasing entities
    • Money transfer and exchange services
    • Pawn brokers
    • Guarantors and underwriters
    • Traders of foreign exchange, futures, options and securities
    • Financial advisers
    • Money brokers
    • Credit unions
    • Portfolio managers and administrators
    • Gaming centers and lotteries
    • Insurance entities
    • Venture risk capital
    • Trusts or company service providers
    • Legal professionals
    • Real estate agents
    • Dealers in precious metals and stones
    • Registered charities

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

 

Prosecutions: None
Convictions: None

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

The Government of Guyana (GOG) needs to increase the implementation of the 2007 Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation and improve its effectiveness. It also needs to provide additional resources to the expanded financial intelligence unit (FIU). Guyana‘s regulations with regard to suspicious activity reporting, wire transfers and customer due diligence need to be strengthened. The GOG should specifically criminalize tipping off.

The GOG is highly centralized and hierarchical, with significant decisions requiring presidential approval. This discourages individual initiative and the exercise of individual discretion, and money laundering investigations are extremely slow. The GOG needs to raise the awareness and understanding of the anti-money laundering regime and the AML/CFT law of the agencies with capacity to investigate money laundering cases and the judicial system.