Money laundering prevention

National synergy on money laundering, terrorist financing risk assessment underway

SOURCES POINT NEWSPAPER

Financial institutions and designated non-financial institutions are participating in a three-day national synergy on money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment which kicked-off Wednesday at a local hotel in Kololi.

Organised by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against money laundering (GIABA), the synergy targets to strengthen the capacity of reporting entities to be able to undertake robust ML/TF assessment in line with the FATF standards.

Muazu Umar, director of policy and research at GIABA, said the specific objectives of the three day synergy includes developing a shared understanding of the concept, approach and methodology for conducting ML/TF risk assessment. “It will enhance the capacity of financial institutions in conducting comprehensive ML/TF risk assessment in order to build a robust AML/CFT risk assessment within their compliance framework,” he added.

Mr. Umar said the financial sector and DNFBPS play important roles in the economic development of any country, stating that they are the catalysts of socio-economic development and the international financial system thrives as a result of their financial intermediation.

“Money laundering and terrorist financing undermine the stability and integrity of the financial system and subjects DNFBPs to being used as gateways for the conversion of illicit proceeds. This could lead to reputational damage and exposure to legal risks and reduce business risk appetite thereby undermining economic growth,” he stated.

Dr. Saikou Jabbie, first deputy governor of Central Bank of The Gambia, defined money laundering as a process of making the proceeds of criminal activity appear to be legally obtained. “Introducing illegally obtained funds into the stream of legitimate commerce and finance allows criminals to profit from their illegal activity, taints the international financial system and erodes public trust in the integrity system,” he said.

Dr. Jabbie cited the IMF and World Bank, saying criminals launder an estimated three to nearly four trillion US Dollars each year. “Money laundering and terrorist financing are morally and ethically inappropriate, illegitimate and punishable by law.”

Director of Financial Intelligence Unit of The Gambia, Alagie Darboe said such capacity building programs are crucial for the establishment and fortification of systems aimed at combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (ML/TF), both in the country and within the sub-region.

He said money laundering and terrorism financing are crimes that have significant negative economic impacts and have the ability to misallocate resources and income distribution to distort asset and commodity prices and to breed social ills, crime and corruption. “The Government of The Gambia on its part has taken giant steps to put in place legal, institutional and other measures to fight Money Laundering and Terrorism in the country,” he said.

In the same vein, a similar event will be held for religious leaders commencing on Friday 16 August 2019.

 

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