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Financial training workshop puts spotlight on illegal money

Financial training workshop puts spotlight on illegal money

Hot money that flows across borders was the subject of an intense 3-day training workshop hosted by the National Technical Working Group on Illicit Financial Flows for government officials as well as individuals from the private sector who work in statistics, economics, development policy and trade.

Illicit financial flows, as defined by the International Monetary Fund, includes the cross-border movement of money that is illegal in its origin (e.g. corruption, smuggling), its transfer (e.g. tax evasion) or its use (e.g. terrorist financing). “Such flows can greatly impact a country’s socio-political and economic stability, as well as the integrity of the global financial system, by depleting foreign exchange reserves, diminishing tax revenues and reducing government income.”

The Working Group comprising 14 member institutions collects data on tax and commercial malpractice, and on financial crimes including fraud and corruption. The members are the Bank of Namibia, the Namibia Revenue Agency, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Namibian Competition Commission, the Business and Intellectual Property Authority, the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Namibian Police Force, the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa), the Office of the Prosecutor-General, the Namibia Statistics Agency, the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the United Nations in Namibia.

In a statement issued after the workshop, the Bank of Namibia said the Working Group has to date uncovered more than N$1 billion in fraud in clearing and customs.

Working Group chairperson, the Deputy Director for Exchange Control at the Bank of Namibia, Ms Penelao Kapenda, said “With the support of the international community, let us build the necessary capacity and identify the drivers of Illicit Financial Flows using refined and additional methodologies. We must be diligent leaders who influence policy changes for our generation and enable the State, under the Namibian Constitution, to enact, administer and enforce laws effectively, ensuring the recovery of Africa’s stolen assets through Illicit Financial Flows.”

An UNCTAD statistician, Mr Bojan Nastav said Illicit Financial Flows thrive in chaos but can be addressed through cooperation and communication between national agencies, international agencies and countries, as well as through strong political will. He commended Namibia for involving the Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, noting that it shows commitment by the Namibian Government to address Illicit Financial Flows.


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