By Ndey Sowe

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Gambia under the support of “Strengthening Anti- Money Laundering Capacities in West Africa (SAMWA)” project, which is funded by the European Union in collaboration with Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), has on Monday, 4th March, 2019 began a 4-day training for financial institutions.

The programme held at a local hotel in Kotu, was aimed at “Harmonizing the Implementation of Preventive Measures on Money Laundering, both in the Gambia and within the West African Sub-Region”.

The theme of the training was: Harmonizing the Implementation of Preventive Measures on Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.

Mr.Alagie Darboe, FIU Director and GIABA National Correspondent in his welcome remarks said FIU of the Gambia, as provided for in the Anti- Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorism Financing Acts 2012, is to combat money laundering, terrorism financing and other criminal conducts.

He added that it is significant to note that globalization and the rapid development in technology have turned the world into one big village where everything is interconnected.

Now more than ever before, Darboe noted, cross-border financial transactions are conducted with so much ease. He added that transactions speed has become the order of the day.

“Funds can now move, not only across financial institutions, but across continent within seconds”, he said. He went on, this has given money laundering and terrorism financiers the ability to engage in a series of transactions, spread across several institution types, all structured to obscure their audit trails.

He claimed that all are aware of the detrimental impact of money laundering and terrorism financing on our national economy and, especially in Africa, where billions of dollars are lost every year in the form of tax evasion, fraud and other predicate offenses.

He assures that if adequate measures are put in place and if illicit financial flows are prevented, the revenue we’re currently losing could be utilized to improve healthcare and education, which he said will develop infrastructure, among others.

Other speakers included, Dr Seeku AK. Jaabi, first deputy governor, Central Bank of The Gambia and Mod Secka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

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