At the just-ended meeting of the Inter Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering (GIABA), held the Ivorian political capital, Yamoussoukro, Liberia scored high marks, a release issued has said.
GIABA is a specialized institution of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), responsible for facilitating the adoption and implementation of anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures in the sub-region.
Their meeting was held from May 18 to 23, 2015, during which the GIABA Plenary commended Liberia for taking “significant steps at the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the country.”
Plenary therefore maintained Liberia on the Regular Expedited Follow-up Process and requested the country to submit its 5th Follow-up Report to GIABA Secretariat Plenary.
Additionally, the release said, Plenary requested Liberia to submit a progress report to GIABA Secretariat before November this year in order for the Plenary to criminalize the outstanding predicate offences, including illicit trafficking in stolen and other goods; illicit arms trafficking; counterfeiting and piracy of products.
GIABA will also amend existing anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws adequately to empower Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to confiscate property and or proceeds of crime.
The plenary will also establish robust procedures and mechanisms for implementing United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1373, whose procedures and mechanisms should, amongst other things, highlight procedures for considering de-listing and requests for freezing funds; effective systems for communicating actions taken under the freezing mechanism to reporting entities, etc.
Liberia’s delegation to the GIABA Ministerial Committee (GMC), comprising the Ministers of Finance, Planning and Development, Justice and Internal Affairs, was headed by the Justice Minister Cllr. Benedict Sannon.
Other members included Deputy House Speaker, Hans Barchue, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and Board Chair of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia (FIU), Charles Sirleaf, among others.
The FIU is the central, national agency of Liberia responsible for receiving, requesting and conducting preliminary investigation, analyzing and disseminating information concerning suspected proceeds of money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.