Ghana no longer haven for money laundering – Chief Justice

Chief Justice Georgina Wood
Chief Justice Georgina Wood

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organization which monitors money laundering worldwide, has cleared Ghana of all charges indicting it as one of the countries in the world where money laundering thrives.

This followed proactive measures put in place by relevant stakeholders such as the Financial Intelligent Centre (FIC) of the Bank of Ghana, to ensure that all loopholes in our financial monitoring sector were adequately sealed.

This was disclosed by Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, Chief Justice, during the opening session of a panel discussion on money laundering and financing of terrorism, organized by Wisconsin University College (WIUC) on Wednesday.

The panel discussion which attracted participants from the financial and security agencies, was on the theme:“Positioning Ghana against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism: The Role of Stakeholders.”

The programme was also used to announce the acceptance of WIUC as a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS), which is a US-based international membership organization, dedicated to the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Mrs Georgina Wood noted that the removal of Ghana from the list of countries where money laundering thrive, was a significant achievement for the country, and congratulated the FIC and other stakeholders for such a feat within less than a year after the country was blacklisted.

She called on financial institutions in the country to abide by the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2010 (LI1987), which require institutions to appoint anti-money laundering reporting officers to implement the institution’s compliance procedures.

“I wonder the number of financial institutions that file their Suspicious Transaction Reports, Cash Transaction Reports, Electronic Transfer Reports, Currency Declaration Report  and Cloned Cheques Reports to the FIC”, she stated.

She said the laws of Ghana required that these reports were filed regularly to enable the FIC take decisive action by identifying proceeds of unlawful activities, and making information available for investigation and actions by law enforcement agencies.

She noted that within the past few years, substantial amount, being proceeds of illegal activities, had been frozen and confiscated to the state.

“Amounts initially suspected to be proceeds from illegal transactions, have been subjected to assessment for purposes of taxation, thereby generating much needed revenue for the nation,” she added.

She said the Judicial Service was poised for action, and considered its role as the guardian of the rule of law, a crucial one for the implementation of government policies and programmes.

“It is for this reason that the Judicial Service continues to train more judges in this area, to ensure a clear understanding of the modus operandi of their activities, to enable us dispense justice, as constitutionally mandated.

Professor Kofi Oduro-Afriyie, Vice Chancellor, WIUC, said the acceptance of WIUC as ACAMS member would enable WIUC become an educational partner of ACAMS so that it could offer Anti-Money Laundering Certificate Programmes in Ghana.

“The programmes would lead to the award of ACAMS certificates and qualifications to students who enroll and successfully complete them”.

“One would charter as an Anti-Money Laundering Specialist if he or she successfully finishes the course and writes the chartering exams”,  he added.

Source: GNA

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