Region intensifies fight against money laundering
Delegates from the East African Community and beyond are set to convene in Kigali in September to discuss ways to explore ways of addressing money laundering and terrorist financing.
The one-day forum is organised by Cyber Security Africa, a technology security solutions company based in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to the organisers, the workshop will bring together key stakeholders from governments, law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and security experts from the region.
Sammy Kioko, the Alliance Manager, Cyber Security Africa, said the forum will deliberate on changes in the money service business regulatory landscape, adopting the latest best practices to protect companies from fraud, anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures, among others.
“Money laundering prevention and counter terrorist financing continues to challenge financial services all over the world. This is the best moment for regional countries to understand the measures to combat this crime,” he said.
According to Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), a police agency charged with the control of suspect financial transactions in the country, money laundering cases in the country are very low.
The latest statistics from the agency show that from last year up to March this year, 124 suspicious transactions were reported.
FIU intercepted about Rwf 714 million at Kigali International Airport (KIA) between December 23, 2011 and January 15, 2012 and $1.2 million.
According to the law, any person who leaves or enters the country transporting cash or negotiable bills of exchange exceeding $10,000, without prior declaration, except for funds certified by a withdrawal slip issued by an accredited bank, will be committing a money laundering offence.
Theos Badege , the Police Spokesperson, told The New Times, yesterday that the cases of money laundering in the country and terrorist financing are very low.
“We have put in place tough measures to deal with this crime. For instance, we deployed our staff at KIA to detect illegal cross-border cash and we are planning to deploy at all border posts,” he said.
Badege stated that the FIU shares its information with banks and insurance companies to deter any illegal transaction.
“We also work closely with other countries through exchange of information to prevent this offence because this is a cross border crime,” he noted.
To toughen measures towards combating the crime, FIU was established last year under a Presidential Decree of May 30, to prevent, combat and investigate financial crimes, including money laundering, funding terrorists, among others. The anti-money laundering law was enacted in 2008.
Contact email: frank.kanyesigye[at]newtimes.co.rw