Namibia joins EGFI units to combat crime

08 Jul 2014 16:00

Namibia has been admitted as a member of the Egmont Group of Financial

Intelligence Units in Lima, Peru.

Through this network, Namibia has joined 139 countries across the world

determined to disrupt crime through rapid exchange of information pertaining

financial crimes and assets derived from the commission of financial crimes.

Bank of Namibia Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit Leonie Dunn in

accepting the Egmont membership on behalf of Namibia reiterated Namibia’s

commitment to fight financial crime in all its forms through the effective legal

and operational frameworks established.

“This enables the financial Intelligence Unit in cooperation with Law

Enforcement Agencies (Namibian police, anti corruption commission,

Intelligence Services, Prosecutor-General, customs and excise and Inland

Revenue) to timeously, pro actively and rapidly identify proceeds of crimes and

remove assets acquired from proceeds of crime from the hands of criminals,

regardless of when the crime was committed,” she said.

This membership, which was granted following the Bank of Namibia’s

application on behalf of the country, strengthen the country’s national agenda

to pro-actively combat crime and preventing criminals from enjoying the

proceeds of their criminal activities. “This is important for Namibia to ensure

that we do not allow financial crimes such as money laundering and illegal

drug trade to continue destroying our social fabric and to put the future of our

children in jeopardy,” she said.

Namibia is the first African Nation and one of only few jurisdictions in the

world which successfully conducted a National Money Laundering and

Terrorism Financing Risk and Threat Assessment. This Assessment enabled

Namibia to develop laws, policies and cause resource allocations to address

and mitigate high risk Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing areas. This

further assists the country to protect its economy and citizens from the impact

of financial criminal activities.

The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units is an established formal

network of Financial Intelligence Units with the main objective of stimulating

international co-operation to pro-actively and timeously combat all aspects of

financial crime.

It enables Financial Intelligence Units to rapidly exchange information with

counterparts across the world, which allows the rapid identification of all

assets acquired with proceeds of crime and secure the removal of same from

criminals and criminal enterprises. Egmont Group FIUs meet regularly to

find ways to promote the development of Financial Intelligence Units and to

cooperate, especially in the areas of information exchange, training and the

sharing of expertise.

Admission requirements to the Egmont Group are quite stringent to meet and

Namibia is one of the few countries in Africa that have been admitted. Other 5

countries within the SADC Region are Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania, Seychelles

and South Africa in addition to the remaining 14 African countries. As a nation,

Namibians should therefore be proud of this accomplishment.