26
Tue, Mar

GHANA TAKES ACTION AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING

Business & Economy

Ghana has hosted the Financial Action Task Force and Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa for the second round of Mutual Evaluation Exercise on combating money laundering, terrorist financing and the proliferation of other transitional crimes in the sub region.

Ghana has hosted the Financial Action Task Force and Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa for the second round of Mutual Evaluation Exercise on combating money laundering, terrorist financing and the proliferation of other transitional crimes in the sub region.

 

The 5-day Regional Training Workshop on the New FATF Methodology for Mutual Evaluation Assessors is focused on assisting participants to identify the systems and mechanisms developed by countries with diverse legal, regulatory and financial frameworks in order to  implement an effective Anti-Money Laundering-Combating the Finance of Terrorism (AML/CFT) systems of member states.

In a speech read for him at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, noted that the joint training workshop in Ghana was very apt and timely because it was coming at a time President Nana Akufo-Addo had expressed a serious determination to fight terrorism, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of predicate offences, especially corruption.

In order to advance this cause, the Finance Minister pointed out: “His Excellency the President has directed  the Attorney-General and the Minister for Justice of Ghana to initiate measures to amend the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 Act 29 to upgrade the gravity of the offence of corruption from a misdemeanour as it currently stands to a felony.”

He added that the measure would send warning signals to public servants and civil society in general, stressing that punishment for corruption would be proportionate, dissuasive and effective as well as consistent with FAFT standards.

Mr Ofori-Atta said government had taken note of the National Risk Assessment Report on Ghana and was working to implement an Action Plan with the hope that efforts to address the gaps and other strategic deficiencies were identified. 

The Finance Minister also mentioned that the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government was putting measures in place to set up an office of independent prosecutor which would ensure the effective prosecution of persons suspected to have committed corruption and other financial crimes.

He added that the country was considering the expeditious establishment of an Asset Management Office to effectively deal with property related crimes.

“The Inter-Ministerial Committee would soon consider instituting measures that would deepen collaboration between the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Financial Forensic Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Service and the Financial Intelligence Centre-Ghana with he prime aim of ensuring that tax evaders are punished accordingly. Ghana is committed to ensuring that tax evasion; a predicate offence of money laundering is drastically reduced,” he emphasized.

He admonished the participants to take advantage of the workshop to establish a network to promote an effective domestic and international cooperation to fight money laundering and the finance of terrorism.

The Director General of GIABA, Adama Coulibaly, explained that the Mutual Evaluation process which GIABA undertook was a pure review mechanism to showcase the weaknesses and strength of the country.

Touching on the fight against terrorism, Col Coulibaly said the fight against the act should not be the responsibility of the soldiers alone but a collective one.

“We cannot fight against terrorism or the financing of terrorism unless we ensure that terrorists are deprived of their meals that is why GIABA has created the platform where the assessors come together empower them in the fight,” he noted.

He further stated that Ghana was chosen as the host country for the workshop because the country had paved the way for other African Countries to build stronger regimes of AML/CFT.

The workshop hosted participants from West Africa comprising ECOWAS member states, Sao Tome  and Principe, Central Africa, Angola, China, Turkey, United Kingdom and France. The first round of GIABA Mutual Evaluation exercise commenced in 2007.

 

Follow Us