Fight against money laundering

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The issue of money laundering has been seriously debated across the globe.

The act of processing or investing “dirty money” using the channel of legitimate financial institutions or business ventures to make that money “clean” is very common.

The recent passing of the bill entitled anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing bill by the National Assembly is another evidence of the Gambia’s commitment to fighting against the menace.

Our financial institutions must work closely with the media to report any act of money laundering within our banks to ensure the menace is well tackled.

It is also prudent that those involved in the fight against money laundering are equipped with various techniques to be able to effectively detect the practice.

The goal of a money laundering operation is usually to hide either the source or the destination of money.

Large-scale money laundering schemes invariably contain cross-border elements.

Since it is an international problem, international co-operation is a critical necessity in the fight against it.

Money laundering is ipso facto illegal; the acts generating the money almost always are themselves criminal in some way, if not, the money need not to be laundered.

Also, as it rewards corruption and crime, successful money laundering damages the integrity of the entire society and undermines democracy and the rule of law.

Some might argue that developing economies cannot afford to be too selective about the sources of capital they attract.

But postponing action is dangerous. The more it is deferred, the more entrenched organised crime can become.

As with the damaged integrity of an individual financial institution, there is a dampening effect on foreign direct investment when a country’s commercial and financial sectors are perceived to be subject to the control and influence of organised crime.

Fighting money laundering and terrorist financing is, therefore, a part of creating a business-friendly environment which is a precondition for lasting economic development.

Money laundering can bring about illegal arms sales, smuggling, and the activities