The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) has frowned upon the impression that Ghana is on the verge of being blacklisted for lack of efforts with regards to anti-money laundering.
The reaction of the agency, an initiative of ECOWAS, is reacting to a media report suggesting that Ghana is close to being blacklisted for non-compliance. The statement conveying the message states that “for the avoidance of doubt and for the attention of the general public, the following should be noted with regards to Ghana’s AML/CFT regime: Ghana is the first GIABA Member State to be evaluated under the on-going GIABA Second Round of Mutual Evaluations; the draft report of the Mutual Evaluation is being finalised and would be discussed at the GIABA Technical Commission / plenary in May 2017; in preparation for the mutual evaluation, Ghana with the support of World Bank and GIABA successfully conducted a National Risk Assessment.” The statement points out that during the evaluation process, the assessment team received full support and cooperation from the Ghanaian authorities and that “it is therefore false and out of context for anyone to suggest that Ghana risks being blacklisted because there is no reason or condition for such a suggestion with respect to Ghana.”
The source of the story, an interview, the statement explained, is the Mutual Evaluation Process on the sidelines of the workshop for assessors on the New FATF Assessment Methodology currently taking place in Accra.
GIABA has asked for circumspection with regard to reporting on money laundering and terrorist financing because of the sensitivity of the matter to the general public and the country in particular. It is worthy of note that blacklisting is a very serious matter with regard to AML/CFT regimes of countries.
For any country to be blacklisted, the statement went on “that country would have passed several stages of monitoring and review to the extent that it is concluded that such a country is lacking in political commitment and is not making any significant effort to overcome identified strategic deficiencies in its AMLCFT systems.
Any impression that portrays Ghana in a negative light, GIABA says, must be discountenanced.