Monday, 12 September 2016

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING UNIT FOR ZIM

Government, through the National Prosecuting Authority has established a unit to prosecute money laundering offences and will work closely with the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Unit in the Reserve Bank, as well as with the police.

This is part of steps to implement the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism Strategic Plan for 2015–2018 which seeks to increase the country’s effectiveness in identifying or tracing and confiscating proceeds and instrumentalities of crime and funds related to financing of terrorism, among other objectives.

The National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism Strategic framework provides the strategic direction that Zimbabwe will continue to pursue, towards achieving its strategic objectives which are in line with regional initiatives within the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) and international best practice regarding the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) AML/CFT standards.

The plan also seeks to increase capacity of AML/CFT stakeholder institutions in Zimbabwe and render them more effective; enhance national cooperation as well as Zimbabwe’s cooperation with other jurisdictions and with regional and international bodies on AML/CFT issues; regularly assess/review the country’s money laundering and financing of terrorism risks and align AML/CFT policies in line with the country’s risks and to monitor and review implementation of this National AML/CFT Strategy on an ongoing basis.

In order to further strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, and also keep abreast with FATF standards, Government is considering setting up a dedicated Money Laundering Investigation Unit within the Police. This will allow specialisation and improved capacity on money laundering investigation.

“In the same vein, Government is strengthening cooperation among law enforcement agents, including the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Unit currently in the Reserve Bank, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Police and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, which is critical for success in the fight against money laundering,” Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in the Mid Term Policy Statement last week.

Furthermore, as part of capacity building, the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Unit has acquired a Go-AML system for instantaneous receipt and analysis of suspicious transaction reports.

The system allows easier and faster detection of suspicious transactions in banking and non-banking financial institutions, including the securities sector, thereby assisting in maintaining the integrity of the country’s financial system.

Minister Chinamasa said Government was drawing guidance from the recommendations of the National Risk Assessment Report conducted over the period 2014–2015, with assistance of the World Bank. One of the major aspects raised through the National Risk Assessment Report is enhancing capacity of investigators and prosecutors, as well as that of the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Unit (Financial Intelligence Unit).

On the other hand, technical training for various investigating entities is ongoing, including the recently completed Capacity Building Support in the area of risk based anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism, which was funded by the World Bank.

Furthermore, additional capacity building support will be received from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for the period to 2018. Herald

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