… US$150,000 for training for FIU’s iBase software
As Guyana continues to embark on efforts aimed at reducing and eradicating money laundering and other financial crimes, the Unites States Government, through its Department of State, pledged support to the country’s fight against
such transgressions, which are international threats.
This is the result of a partnership established between the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the Guyana’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which will allow for training and support services to be provided as Guyana installs the recently-acquired iBase software.
The iBase technology offers an intelligence data management application that enables the FIU to capture, control, and analyses multi-source data gathered from various entities. However, with the introduction of this advanced approach to Guyana’s anti-money laundering regime, the US has committed to offering training for analysts who will be managing the sophisticated software.
On that note, the Finance Ministry on Friday hosted a presentation ceremony, during which the US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway officially acknowledged and committed to the collaborative approach towards the fight against financial crimes in Guyana.
Present also at the ceremony hosted in the boardroom of the Finance Ministry was the FIU Director, Matthew Langevine.
Langevine outlined that the primary role of the FIU was to request and receive information from financial and non-financial entities “and in some cases individuals, who we refer to as reporting entities. We analyse this information/intelligence, complete and share reports with an opinion of whether or not our subjects are to be investigated for money laundering.”
He went on to say that the insights will then be sent to law enforcement agencies, with the corresponding body being the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU). The information is generally gathered from a wide range of reporting entities which comprise banks, insurance companies, lottery companies, non-profitable organisations, among others.
Additionally, Finance Minister Winston Jordan, in his address to the gathering, indicated that money laundering and similar offences have, over the years, intensified – thereby emphasising the need for the operations of the FIU. Moreover, he noted that the iBase technology was much needed to aid in the anti-money laundering mission.
“The scale of money laundering and terrorist financing has risen globally resulting in an increased potential macro-economic and security risk in countries where these illicit activities are prevalent. There is no doubt that the employment of advanced technology has aided in the detection of money laundering activity, thus allowing measures to be implemented,” Jordan relayed.
Acknowledging the significance of this investment made by the US Government, the Finance Minister expressed appreciation for the support.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Holloway commended Guyana on the acquisition of the iBase software, especially given its potential in detecting, deterring and protecting against financial crimes. With that, the US representative explained the extent of his country’s investment.
“The training and support will be provided by International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, at a cost of just over US$150,000, and has been contracted after close collaboration and coordination with Guyana’s independent Financial Intelligence Unit, which recently purchased the iBase software.”
Holloway further conveyed, “The acquisition of the iBase software by the FIU and the training and support services provided by the US Government will enhance all of these efforts. This tool will significantly enhance the capabilities of the FIU in Guyana in its mandate and mission of combating money laundering and terrorist financing, and protecting the local financial sector from being infiltrated with proceeds of crime.”
While applauding the strides made by the Guyanese Government towards this mission in the past year, the US Ambassador pledged continued commitment to the cause saying, “The US Government is pleased to continue its support of the anti-money laundering efforts of the Government of Guyana.”
The training of analysts to manage and operate the iBase financial investigation technology is expected to commence in September.