U.S. Promises Help for Liberia’s Financial Intelligence Unit

0
1070
U.S1..jpg

The Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) of the United States Department of Treasury has pledged to help Liberia’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to implement the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in Liberia.
The pledge followed an assessment visit by the OTA’s Economic Crimes Team (ECT) to Monrovia to hold high level discussions from July 13-17 with several governmental agencies, who collaborated with the FIU on the AML/CFT regime.
According to a FIU release, ECT Senior Advisor Carol A. Kelly, joined by Lilieth R. Whyte, Economic Officer of the US Embassy in Monrovia, met FIU Chief Executive Officer, Alex Cuffy for a joint session of the AML/CFT Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy Finance and Development Planning Minister, Dr. James F. Kollie and FIU board chair Charles E. Sirleaf, who is also a deputy governor at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
The ECT also met high level officials of CBL’s Supervision Department, Liberia Revenue Authority, National Security Agency, Liberia National Police, Drug Enforcement Agency, Transnational Crime Unit, Judge James Jones of the Judiciary and Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission Executive Chairman Cllr. James N. Verdier.
The ECT came to Monrovia to discuss in greater detail its prospects for technical assistance collaboration following a visit paid by Mr. Cuffy to Washington in September 2014 in furtherance of a discussion President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf held with US Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen in May 2014.
Before his visit, Mr. Cuffy had written the Treasury Department for technical assistance in which he unveiled a four-prong strategic goal of ensuring a fully functioning FIU; building capacity and creating awareness and sensitization; enhancing the legal and regulatory framework; and enhancing national, regional and international cooperation.
OTA acknowledged receipt of the letter and commended the FIU for its well-considered strategic goals and work plans as well as the holistic approach it is taking to ensure close collaboration between key partner institutions.
The FIU was created by an act of the Legislature on April 30, 2013 and published by the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 2, 2013 to serve as the central national agency for receiving, requesting, conducting preliminary investigations, analyzing and disseminating information concerning suspected proceeds of crime and terrorist property.
Liberia is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa (GIABA), a specialized institution of ECOWAS responsible for facilitating the adoption and implementation of AML/CFT measures in West Africa.
Liberia scored high marks at a GIABA Plenary in Ivory Coast from May 18-23 where it was commended for its significant steps in the fight against AML/CFT. The plenary retained Liberia on the regular expedited follow-up process and requested it to submit its fifth follow-up report to GIABA Secretariat before May 2016.

Leave a Reply