|Money Laundering, Threat To Foreign Investment|
A Special Advisor to the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Professor Newman Kwadwo Kusi has said that money laundering and terrorist financing, undermines the integrity and stability of financial institutions and systems, discourages foreign investment, and distorts international capital flows.
He added that money laundering and financing of terrorism have gained notoriety in recent years and as a result, the international community has made the fight against these crimes a top priority.
Professor Kusi who made these observations at a workshop on Money Laundering in Accra yesterday explained that those who engage in these crimes raise their money through a variety of means, including slavery, drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking, corruption among others.
He further described money laundering as a process in which the illicit source of assets obtained or generated by criminal activity is concealed to obscure the link between the funds and the original criminal activity.
According to him, money laundering is heavily influenced by the economy, financial markets, and anti-money laundering/counter financing of terrorism regimes, adding that financial institutions, particularly banks, are most vulnerable to abuse for that purpose.
He indicated that in order to protect the integrity of these banks, it is essential that financial institutions have adequate controls and procedures in place that will enable them know the person they are dealing with.
''Adequate due diligence on new and existing customers is a key part of these controls,'' Prof. Newman said.
The Head of Programmes Division of Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, (GIABA), Dr. Buno Nduka, described Money laundering as a complex and dynamic process that requires a holistic approach that involves different stakeholders to relate risk-based approach to compliance supervisory framework.
Dr. Bunko Nduka, therefore, urged all participants to take advantage of the workshop to acquaint themselves with best practice principles and also build a vista of alliances and networks that will assist them in implementing effective programmes in combating money laundering.
Source: ISD (Michelle Fafa Agbenorto)