Govt to establish Task Force to strengthen system for gold exports

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
L-R: Anil Nandlall, Ashni Singh, Godfrey Statia and Gobind Ganga

The Guyana Government is setting up a special Task Force to examine the current system and procedures in place for the export of gold.

Making the announcement during a press conference on  Thursday was President Dr Irfaan Ali who explained that this is in an effort to combat gold smuggling.

He noted that the body will make recommendations to strengthen the country’s tax policies, export regulations, anti-money laundering measures and enforcement.

That Task Force will comprise of Attorney General Anil Nandlall, Minister with responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh, Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Godfrey Statia, representatives from the Guyana Gold Board and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Governor of the Bank of Guyana Gobind Ganga, among others.

“[What we will] look at…is enhancing enforcement mechanism – increased surveillance, the development of a specialised Task Force to have greater inter-agency fluidity on information, international cooperation…improve coordination among stakeholders, greater education, training and capacity building and importantly, data analytics,” the President told reporters at State House.

He pointed out that in order to implement a more robust system, the government will need to increase its collaboration with its bilateral partners to ensure that the gold declared at Guyana’s ports is what is received at the other countries’ ports-of-entry.

“We will have to look at ways in which we can use technology to do tracking through GPS, radio frequency communication,” he added.

The team will put together its recommendations and is expected to present a report “in a short timeframe so that we can work on a further enhancement and improvement of the system,” Ali said.

Further, the Head of State said in the modernisation of the system, the government will look at whether an export quota is relevant, adding that gold smuggling will be treated as a “predicate offence.”

These measures come on the heels of the recent sanctions from the United States against gold dealer and businessmen Nazar and Azruddin Mohamed and a Government Official, along with the arrests and charging of several persons involved in the smuggling of gold out of Guyana.

Recently, it was disclosed that there are six gold dealers registered to export gold from Guyana.