13 Mar 2015 02:40am
WINDHOEK,13 MAR (NAMPA) Namibia has been removed from the international targeted review process of countries with shortcomings in their national Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regulatory environment.
Bank of Namibia (BoN)'s Director for Strategic Communication and Financial Sector Development Ndangi Katoma announced this during a media briefing here on Thursday.
He explained that the removal follows the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting on 26 February 2015 in Paris, France during which the recommendation by its International Cooperation Review Group unanimously agreed that Namibia has effectively and efficiently executed all her agreed actions.
Katoma added that the FATF plenary meeting complemented Namibia for adopting a national AML/CFT and Combating Proliferation Financing (CPF) Policy, Laws and Implementation Frameworks.
This adoption not only effectively assists Namibia to protect her national and the international financial system against money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing abuse, but also placed the country on an accelerated pace to comply with both technical and effectiveness criteria endorsed in the FATF 2012 recommendations, he noted.
He stressed that the criminalisation of proliferation and the financing thereof, also put Namibia amongst the first countries in the world to effectively contribute to international peace, democracy, security and stability in this regard.
Katoma observed that Namibia is the first African country and one of only few jurisdictions in the world, which successfully conducted a National Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risk and Threat Assessment in 2012.
He further said this assessment enabled Namibia to develop laws, policies, and cause resource allocations to address and mitigate high-risk money laundering and terrorism financing areas.
The assessment will assist the country to protect its economy and citizens from the impact of financial criminal activities.
The FATF issued a public statement on 27 February 2015, welcoming Namibia's progress in improving its AML/CFT regime, noting that Namibia has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies which the FATF had identified in June 2011.
Namibia is therefore no longer subjected to the FATFs monitoring process under its ongoing global AML/CFT compliance process.
Katoma said Namibia will work with Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its mutual evaluation report.
It is important for Namibia to ensure that we do not allow financial crimes such as money laundering, corruption, terrorist financing and illegal drug trade to continue destroying our social fabric and to put the future of our children in jeopardy, he said.
In so doing, he said, the country recognises the importance of international cooperation in the fight against these financial crimes.