Namibia committed to fight financial crimes – !Gawaxab
Namibia is already making steady progress in addressing findings related to its Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation Framework (AML/CFT/CPF) to maintain the integrity of its financial system, the central bank said in a statement this week.
This stems from the second peer review and mutual evaluation exercise the country was subjected to last year as part of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) framework.
According to the central bank Namibia is going to great lengths to meet the deadlines in order to avoid the country from being greylisted after the current 12-month monitoring period expires.
“If the country is greylisted, the FATF will closely monitor the country’s financial transactions with the rest of the world. When this happens, the country’s financial system may suffer reputational damage, affecting foreign direct investment, capital flows, and increasing compliance costs,” the Bank of Namibia said in the statement.
Namibia has shown significant political commitment to meeting the FATF requirements.
“To avoid greylisting, the Cabinet of the Republic of Namibia has directed institutions and
stakeholders to implement an Action Plan adopted in December 2022. Proposed legislative changes have been made, and public consultations on the gaps in relevant laws that should be benchmarked to the best international standards are underway,” the bank said, adding that enforcing applicable laws to combat financial crime is another area under scrutiny.
On this front, law enforcement agencies are working nonstop to reduce the risks of a targeted review. In this regard, the relevant laws must pass Parliament before the country’s post-Evaluation Progress Review Report is submitted at the end of July 2023, the central bank said.
At the same time, Namibia is expected to demonstrate significant progress in addressing recommendations around the effectiveness of the national AML/CFT/CPF system. The Cabinet of the Republic of Namibia is regularly updated on the progress in implementing the Action Plan.
Meanwhile, with the addition of South Africa to the FATF’s list of jurisdictions subject to heightened scrutiny, the FATF framework suggests the risks of dealing with clients and/or transactions associated with or emanating from, jurisdictions on the list are increased.
“As a result, relevant financial and non-financial institutions worldwide, including those in Namibia, must exercise increased caution when dealing with transactions or clients with ties to such jurisdictions. This does not imply quitting or de-risking but rather taking the necessary precautions to reduce this risk to acceptable levels,” they added.
This Risk-Based Approach within the AML/CFT/CPF framework, informed by the FATF Recommendations, remains the most effective risk management approach at the institutional level.
The Bank of Namibia and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) will continue to work with relevant institutions to ensure Namibia plays its part in maintaining a reliable international financial system.
Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Johannes !Gawaxab said, “Notwithstanding these recent developments in our region, we have seen countries close to home successfully exiting the heightened surveillance through resolute commitment and action from all stakeholders. Namibia is better positioned to safeguard its interests and protect its financial system because of the demonstrable political will and widespread support from all stakeholders. We are encouraged that investors regard Namibia as a safe investment destination, and the enforceability of our legal framework is undeniable, thanks to our strong institutions and independent judiciary. We reassure Namibians and our
valued stakeholders all over the world of our commitment to fight financial crimes and, that our financial system is robust and will be in better shape at the end of these interventions.