Uganda’s war on illicit financial flows gets global recognition
UGANDA HAS has now been removed from the money laundering list of shame.
This is likely to shift the country’s focus from a firefighting compliance strategy to aggressive enforcement of anti-money laundering rules.
This landmark decision was made during a technical review session convened by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Argentina at the beginning of this month.
The institution holds a global mandate for co-ordinating and regulating efforts aimed at tackling money laundering and terrorism financing within its global membership.
Uganda was placed on the FATF list of shame in February 2014, which is also known as the light greylist. The list has the names of member countries that have weaknesses in their anti money laundering regimes, particularly in areas of legislation and enforcement.
Countries on the list are Bosniaherzegovina, Ethiopia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Yemen.
This list lies one step above the global money laundering blacklist — a group of countries subjected to financial sanctions for failure to comply with FATF rules and officially excluded from the international financial system. Exclusion from the international financial system constrains a country’s banks from carrying out international transaction such as Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTS) and Letters of Credit traditionally used in import and export trade deals and worker remittances. Countries on the blacklist are North Korea, Iran and Russia.
According to a source at Uganda’s Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), the country achieved partial compliance on 15 out of 16 core technical principles created by FATF; an outcome deemed sufficient to justify removal from the global list of shame. The global body possesses a set of 40 technical principles, with 24 of these considered non core and not relevant in country compliance assessments. These principles cover issues such as a country’s willingness to share useful information with members.
Uganda was placed on the FATF list of shame in February 2014, which is also known as the light greylist.