the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) ministers converged in
Banjul last week, the host country The Gambia has reaffirmed its commitment to
combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.
The Attorney General and Justice Minister of The Gambia AbubacarrTambedou made the commitment on behalf of The Gambia on Saturday at the 19th Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) Ministerial Committee Meeting at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
The Ministerial Committee is the highest policy making body of GIABA and the Banjul meeting brought together ministers of ECOWAS member states in a highly attended meeting to deliberate on means and ways to combat the menace in the sub-region.
Minister Tambedou said the hosting of both the Technical and the Ministerial Meetings in The Gambia are very timely saying the country is committed to combating the problem.
“The Republic of The Gambia remains highly committed to combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The necessary legal regime and institutional frameworks have been strengthened and we continue to explore new ways to improve upon these.”
“Key among them is the Financial Intelligence Unit FIU of the Gambia responsible for receiving, analyzing requesting and disseminating financial intelligence to relevant authorities.”
He said the FIU of the Gambia is currently co-coordinating conduct of the national money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment. He said the assessment is at an advanced stage and aims to bring policy and decision makers together on anti-money laundering and combating terrorism finance issues. It is also to foster inter agency collaboration to review training needs for stakeholders. Further it is to identify vulnerabilities in the sectors and laws of the country and priority sectors that need urgent support.
He urged his colleague ministers to take adequate and effective measures saying if they do not ensure that perpetrators of the crimes are apprehended and punished, there will be consequences that could have impact negatively both the economy and political wellbeing of the member states.