Ghana regains exemplary status in money laundering fight

Ghana has restored its image as an example to West African peers in the fight against the illicit flow of funds to finance illegitimate activities.
It follows the country’s earlier than expected exit from a global list of countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorists financing (CTF) regimes last year.

At the just ended regional workshop on AML and CTF in Accra, both the regional body in charge of the fight against the menace – the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering (GIABA) – and the global watchdog on money laundering (ML) and terrorists financing (TF) – the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – praised Ghana for its commitment to the fight against the cankers and urged its peers to take inspiration from the country.

The GIABA and the FATF further expressed the hope that Ghana, through the national body that coordinates the country’s fight against the cankers – the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), would help to share the experience with member countries as they also prepare to go through the same process.

Plenary meeting

The two bodies made the observation in Accra during the 36th GIABA Technical Commission/Plenary and the 24th GIABA Ministerial Committee (GMC) meetings in Accra.

The meetings opened Thursday and Saturday during regional, African and global experts in AML/CFT discussed ways to strengthen the fight against the canker in the region.

Action with words

The Director-General of GIABA, Justice Kimelabalou Aba, said the regional body was impressed by Ghana’s commitment to the AML/CFT fight.

“I would also like to express my heartfelt congratulations to you for your capacity to match words with deeds, regarding the high-level commitment made to the FATF and Global AML/CFT network in the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) process to which the country was subjected a few years ago. Thanks to your self-sacrifice and your determination, you were able to implement ahead of the stipulated time frame, the action plan mutually agreed on with the Joint Africa/Middle East Group, which earned you an early exit from the ICRG process at the FATF Plenary in June 2021.

“Your experience in the said process will be very enriching and above all, inspiring for the other member states, which have joined the said process or which will do so very soon,” Justice Aba said.

Political will

The Chief Executive Officer of the FIC, Mr Kwaku Dua, said in an interview that the country had always been an example to its peers in the fight against the menace.

He said Ghana was among the first countries in the subregion to submit itself to the mutual evaluation around 2016 leading to the discovery of the deficiencies in its AML/CTF regimes.

Mr Dua said following from that the government supported the centre to liaise with the relevant bodies to draw an action plan that was subsequently implemented. He mentioned the operationalisation of the Beneficiary Ownership Register by the Registrar General’s Department and the setting up of a secretariat to coordinate the activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as some of the key initiatives that were put together to strengthen the AML/CFT regimes.

Mr Dua added that political commitment was critical to the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing and thus urged West African countries to support their national bodies with resources to strengthen their fight.

He futher pledged to work with the relevant stakeholders to deter the malpractices and keep the country off the FATF grey list.

Source: graphiconline.com

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