Structures to block financial crime
The Bank of Namibia advised last week that Namibia has officially become a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units in Lima, Peru, at the beginning of June. Through this network, Namibia has joined 139 countries across the world determined to disrupt crime through rapid exchange of information on financial crimes and assets obtained through financial crime.
This membership, which was granted following the Bank of Namibia’s application on behalf of the country, strengthens the national agenda to pro-actively combat crime and preventing criminals from enjoying the proceeds of their criminal activities.
“This is important for Namibia to ensure that we do not allow financial crimes such as money laundering and illegal drug trade to continue destroying our social fabric and to put the future of our children in jeopardy. In doing this, we also recognise the importance of international cooperation in the fight against these financial crimes, money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation financing” the central bank said.
Egmont membership will effectively assists Namibia to pro-actively and re-actively disrupt criminal enterprises. Accepting the Egmont membership on behalf of Namibia, Ms Leonie Dunn, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit at the Bank of Namibia, reiterated Namibia’s commitment to fight financial crime in all its forms through the effective legal and operational frameworks established, saying that “this enables the Financial Intelligence Unit in cooperation with law enforcement agencies to rapidly identify proceeds of crime and remove such assets from the hands of criminals, regardless of when the crime was committed”.
Namibia is the first African nation and one of only a few jurisdictions in the world which successfully conducted a National Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risk and Threat Assessment.
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units is an established formal network of Financial Intelligence Units with the main objective of stimulating international co-operation to combat financial crime.
Five other Egmont members in SADC are Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania, Seychelles and South Africa.