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Min. Nandlall meets with delegation from Europe-Latin America Programme of Assistance against Transnational Organised Crime

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The Hon. Mohabir Anil  Nandlall SC MP, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, on Monday, met with a visiting delegation from the Europe-Latin America  Programme of Assistance against Transnational Organised Crime (EL PACCTO) 2.0. The Eurpean Union (EU)-funded project seeks to contribute to security and justice in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting the fight against transnational organised crime.

The EL PACCTO delegation comprised Marc Reina Tortosa, Senior Executive Manager, EL PACCTO 2.0, Alain Lemangnen, Strategic Key Expert for Environmental Crime, Maite Verhoeven, Strategic Key Expert for the Caribbean, Luuk Bruijn, Project Officer and Federico Suarez, Programme Manager, Delegation of the EU to Guyana. Accompanying the Hon. Attorney General were Shoshanna V. Lall, Assistant Solicitor General and Rommel St. Hill, AML/CFT Officer.

The EL PACCTO 2.0 team is currently visiting Caribbean countries, including Guyana, in an effort to identify practical and necessary areas of support and capacity building in this endeavour to combat transnational organised crime. The team indicated that El PACCTO’s deployment in the Caribbean will be a regional project, and will involve regional institutions such as the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and the Regional Security System (RSS).

The Hon. Attorney General welcomed the intervention, underscoring the importance of the Project in the Region, and in Guyana, at this transformational time in our country’s history. He highlighted Guyana’s position as a major oil producer with the increased demand for the necessary legal and policy framework and infrastructure to excel as a growing industry leader. He further underscored the Government’s objective to ensure that the interests of Guyanese and investors alike are protected from the vulnerabilities of transnational organised crime.

In this regard, he said, EL PACCTO’s mission to foster cooperation and collaboration across borders in the fight against transnational organised crime is laudable and welcome. Some of EL PACCTO’s primary areas of focus include activities of drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, environmental crimes, cybercrime, and human trafficking.

The Hon. Attorney General highlighted several pieces of legislation that are currently being worked on or that already form part of Guyana’s legislative armory in the fight against organised crime. He cited the recently passed AML/CFT Act, the proposed new Firearms Act, new Cybercrime legislation, and proposed asset recovery and asset management legislation.

The Hon. Attorney General further indicated to the El Paccto team that the Caribbean Region can benefit greatly from specialist forensic auditors and expert training in the investigation of financial crimes to track the money and proceeds of crime. In that regard, EL PACCTO may assist in providing expert legal and forensic training to Judges, Magistrates and the legal, justice and security fraternity as a whole on these novel and rapidly developing areas of cross-border crimes. The Hon. Attorney General said the training will be useful in investigating, successfully prosecuting, and obtaining judgment against these major criminal elements and actors.

The El PACCTO team thanked the Hon. Attorney General for the opportunity to dialogue, and for identifying areas for collaboration. The discussions, they said, provide a useful foundation for the several other meetings the team will be engaged in today and tomorrow, in Guyana, with key stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Prison Service, the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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