‘Money laun­der­ing threat­ens re­gion’s econ­omy’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Leonard Ncube

EASTERN and South­ern Africa Anti-Money Laun­der­ing Group (ESAAMLG) mem­ber states have been chal­lenged to put in place stiff le­gal frame­works to fight money laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ism.

Of­fi­cially open­ing the 32nd Taskforce of Se­nior Of­fi­cials’ meet­ing here on Mon­day, Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Mr Wil­lard Ma­nungo said the African re­gion’s econ­omy was un­der threat from vices em­a­nat­ing from money laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ism fi­nanc­ing.

The meet­ing which is be­ing at­tended by of­fi­cials from across Africa, is part of the week-long con­fer­ence which started on Sun­day and ends on Satur­day.

“The Taskforce of Se­nior Of­fi­cials’ meet­ing is an op­por­tune time for mem­ber states to dis­cuss the main prob­lem of mu­tual in­ter­est, that’s how to pre­vent the re­gion’s fi­nan­cial sys­tems, economies and rest of the world from the evils of money laun­der­ing, ter­ror­ism fi­nanc­ing and pro­lif­er­a­tion of weapons of mass de­struc­tion,” said Mr Ma­nungo.

He said Zim­babwe is also work­ing on frame­works to fight such crime.

“The Gov­ern­ment of Zim­babwe ap­pre­ci­ates this le­gal op­por­tu­nity as it co­in­cides with the dis­cus­sion and adop­tion of the coun­try’s Anti-Money Laun­der­ing and Com­bat­ing the Fi­nance of Ter­ror­ism (AML/CFT) and Pro­lif­er­a­tion Mu­tual Eval­u­a­tion Re­port on the home soil.

“Rec­om­men­da­tions will be used for re­view­ing and strength­en­ing the coun­try’s laws, in­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ments and ef­fec­tive­ness in fight­ing money laun­der­ing, ter­ror­ism fi­nanc­ing and pro­lif­er­a­tion of weapons of mass de­struc­tion,” he said.

“Hav­ing a com­pre­hen­sive AML/CFT framework alone isn’t enough. What’s more im­por­tant is how ef­fec­tive our im­ple­men­ta­tion sys­tems and their im­pact in re­duc­ing money laun­der­ing and crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties are.

“I urge mem­ber states to con­sider prac­ti­cal ways of how we can build ef­fec­tive sys­tems to com­bat money laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ism fi­nanc­ing.”

The Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary said the need for devel­op­ment of ef­fec­tive ca­pac­ity among ESAAMLG mem­ber states can’t be overem­pha­sised in light of the rav­aging im­pact of crimes and money laun­der­ing on so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

As part of the pro­gramme, del­e­gates will dis­cuss 14 re­ports and the pro­posed im­ple­men­ta­tion plan for the ef­fi­ciency scru­tiny rec­om­men­da­tions.

Tech­nocrats are at­tend­ing closed door meet­ings which will cul­mi­nate in the 16th Coun­cil of Min­is­ters on Thurs­day.

Vice Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa is ex­pected to of­fi­cially open the con­fer­ence on Fri­day when Zim­babwe will also take over the chair of ESAAMLG.

The 3rd Pub­lic-Pri­vate sec­tor di­a­logue will be held on Fri­day and Satur­day. — @ncubeleon

Del­e­gates fol­low pro­ceed­ings dur­ing the Eastern and South­ern Africa Anti-Money Laun­der­ing Group meet­ing in Vic­to­ria Falls on Mon­day

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