According to the Centre, the credibility of the CSOs could be jeopardised if found to be involved in these illegal deals as they are vulnerable to the act.
The FIC’s CEO, Samuel Thompson Essel, at an awareness raising session with representatives from CSOs last week stated that “research and empirical evidence have shown that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) or Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) are vulnerable to abuse by money launders as well as terrorists.”
Mr Essel explains that NGOs are vulnerable because “these organisations enjoy public trust, have access to considerable sources of funds and often have cash- intensive activities.”
The meeting which took place at the West Africa Civil Society Institute created an avenue for CSOs to better understand their roles and responsibilities as agents to promote security in Ghana.
Mr. Essel indicated that his outfit would recommend the establishment of a Special Control Unit on Money Laundering (SCUML) for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), which NGOs are part.
“This unit will play an active role in the issuance of licenses and the continuous operation of NGOs upon the latters’ compliance with anti-money laundering and counter financing terrorism measures”, he added.
Civil society groups have been identified as key stakeholders in promoting the fight against money laundering and financing terrorism in Ghana.
Mr. Essel explained that effective institutions in the country need to be complemented by the indispensable collaboration of civil society to ensure success in combating these crimes.
By Ekow Quandzie