18 September 2012

Kenya: Nation Risks Blacklisting for Delay in Anti-Terror Regulations

Photo: Capital FM
President Mwai Kibaki has assented to two crucial bills, including the Prevention of Terrorist Act 2012 which gives law enforcers more powers in fighting terrorism in the country.

Kenya has less than 25 days to pass and implement the anti-terrorism law to avoid being classified in the same league as Iran and North Korea with serious economic consequences.

The country may face sanctions known as counter measures when it comes up for review on October 12 under the global standards on anti-money recommendations and terrorism.

Neil Murphy, an American banking and financial services adviser said at a workshop in Nairobi that Kenya risks loosing billions in lost trade if the law is not urgently put in place. The law on anti-terrorism is still pending in Parliament after stiff opposition form Mulsims that it is targetting them.

If Kenya fails to pass the law before the review it means that engaging in the import and export business will become more expensive due to the perception that its financial systems are conduits for terrorism cash. This also amounts to black listing of the country as an investment destination or trade partner.

Kenya has already established a financial reporting centre and intelligence gathering body, which will also become the central body for compiling data to be shared with the director of public prosecutions for action on money laundering, and cash destined for financing terrorism.

The law is expected to come with powers to freeze and reposses assets from those found guilty of commiting the financial crimes. Ironically Kenya becomes a target because its advancement and status as the financial hub of the region.

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