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|Under the CBSI…|
|Friday, 11 May 2012 21:31|
A US$500,000 shot in the arm in fight against money laundering, drug trafficking
GUYANA’S efforts to combat money laundering and drug trafficking received a shot in the arm yesterday with the provision of additional funds to the tune of US$500,000.
The money, provided through the US State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), will be used in particular to enhance the area of capacity building.
At a ceremony yesterday at the Foreign Affairs, Ministry, Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and United States Ambassador Brent Hardt, affixed their signatures to a CBSI ‘Letter of Agreement’ .
Present were US Embassy’s Political Economic Chief Michael Fraser, and Director, Department of the Americas, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms. Audrey Waddell.
The blueprint constitutes an amendment to the original agreement valued at US$98,000 which was signed between the two countries on April 8, 2011, under the CBSI, and allows for the continuation of the work with the additional funds.
The funds will be channelled to the existing Law Enforcement Professionalisation Project, the Money Laundering /Financial project, and a new project aimed at strengthening Guyana’s counter-narcotics control capabilities.
Ambassador Hardt, in brief remarks, noted that the funding, which will be used in the areas of capacity building and law enforcement, has its origin in an initiative of President Obama with the Caribbean.
Law enforcement capacity building will get a disbursement of US$150,000 to support initial needs analysis and training to be conducted by the US Drug Enforcement Administration of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) office.
As such, officers from the DEA office will visit Guyana to conduct a series of training workshops and curriculum development forum for Guyana’s law enforcement authorities, the Ambassador disclosed.
Also, the funding will be used to support further collaboration between the country’s financial authorities, including the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Guyana, and the US Treasury, to enhance the common efforts to combat money laundering.
The aim, Ambassador Hardt emphasised, is to develop operating procedures to monitor non-bank financial transactions.
On this note , the Ambassador recalled that President Ramotar had, during his attendance at the Summit of the Americas, raised the issue of money laundering and had highlighted some of the areas in which he would like to see greater cooperation within the hemisphere, and in particular with the United States.
The money will also be used to acquire tools for the protection of drug trafficking to enhance the capabilities of law enforcement authorities, to enable them to better understand from where the drugs are originating, and how to detect and interdict the drugs.
And according to the US Ambassador, through these efforts, the U.S. is looking to continue to build the inter-agency capacity among all the law enforcement authorities here - the Police, the Army and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU).
He expressed the hope that at the end of all of this, there will be more successful counter-narcotics operations, greater interdictions, seizures, and eradications, as well as conviction of drug traffickers, and that the barons so often associated with this would be reduced.
Ambassador Hardt, in reiterating that the efforts by the U.S. represents a continuation of many years of cooperation through US international law enforcement and Narcotics Bureau, said his country would be delighted to deepen and continue this through the CBSI.
Minister Rogrigues-Birkett in her brief, expressed the government’s appreciation for the financial assistance by the U.S., noting that that no one country can successfully carry out the fight against drugs.
Referring to Guyana’s borders and with the concentration of its populace in just a small part of the country, in addition to scarce resources and competing development objectives, she said the fight against drugs in a meaningful way could be very challenging, hence the importance of having cooperation initiatives with the U.S., other colleagues under the CBSI, and countries in the hemisphere and further afield.
The minister, noting that Guyana is pleased that the U.S. is becoming more consistent with its provision of resources to Guyana when it comes to drugs, remarked “Your fight is my fight as well, “since the effect of the scourge is felt worldwide.
Speaking of President Ramotar drawing attention to the ongoing Law Enforcement Specialisation project here, the minister added that the clear indicators of the projects will allow for a better assessment as they progress.
|Last Updated on Friday, 11 May 2012 21:34|
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