— Sensitizes GOL On Passage of AML/CFT Bill; Vows to support Liberia’s FIU to be independent
As the delegation of the Inter-Governmental Action Against Money Laundering In West Africa ended its advocacy mission to Liberia, they expressed optimism that issues proffered to Liberian President, George M. Weah and other political authorities during their interactions will be timely implemented.
The ECOWAS delegation praised the warm reception received by the Liberian leader, Legislature, Central Bank of Liberia, Ministers of Finance and Justice , most especially the Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia, when they arrived in Liberia.
However, the Director General of GIABA, Justice Kimelabalou Aba , expressed optimism that their advocacy mission to Liberia has the ability for the Liberian government to redouble its effort in the fight against money laundering and countering of terrorist financing.
“Since our arrival on Sunday, we held meetings with officials of government. We met with head of FIU, the legislature, Minister of Justice, Finance and the President of Liberia, Dr. George M. Weah.
“So, all these officials were sensitized on the need to pass the pending laws that related to the AML/CFT safety, the revised law on the AML safety and the other related to the FIU,” GIABA Director General said.
Mr. Aba added that “We were warmly received by the authorities and they committed themselves to strengthening anti-money laundering and fighting financial terrorism issues in the country, particularly by enacting the pending the AML/CFT laws, which has to comply with financial actions taskforce standard and also to support the FIU to be independent.
According to the Head of the specialized ECOWAS group, Liberia is expected to undergo another mutual evaluation to help protect the country’s financial system and the world at large, based on the involvement of every country in corresponding banking or money transfer.
He mentioned that the GIABA team of professionals will be deployed to do the mutual assessment in Liberia.
“Liberia Legislature and other political authorities need to muster the courage to pass meaningful legislation, provide logistical and financial support to the Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia,” Justice Aba recommended.
For his part, the Director-General of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Modibbo Hamman Tukur, promised to provide capacity development for some staff members of the Liberia Financial Intelligence Unit.
According to him, Nigeria is prepared to train Liberia FIU locally and internationally, as Liberia gets ready to seek membership from the International Network of FIUs (Egmont Group) which presently has 170 countries as members.
He also disclosed that Nigeria and Ghana are ready to help Liberia achieve its desire to join other countries to share information against money laundering and countering terrorist financing.
Tukur said, “We believed that working in cooperation will make things happened for all of our countries in the region, not only in Liberia, Ghana or Nigeria because we see ourselves as brothers working together to achieve our common goal to protect the whole of West Africa.
“What we are advocating here is not new to the world rather more than 170 countries at risk out of the 210
We are here to support Liberia and we will give them whatever they need and then make sure that what is supposed to be done is consider with all of us brother and sister countries.”
The regional FIU boss said Nigeria will provide financial support for the software that Liberia FIU will shortly use , in the enhancement of its work for efficiency in the fight against money laundering and countering of terrorist financing.