1 October 2012

East Africa: Enforcement of Money Laundering Regulations

Regional experts met in Kigali last week to explore ways of stopping money laundering and terrorist financing within the East African member states.

There are various money laundering methods and of recent they have become more sophisticated and transcend borders, as a result of advanced technology and countries becoming more open, in the interest of expanding their economies.

Rwanda has put in place key steps to fight money laundering; including enacting the anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism law in 2008, a move which raises investor confidence.

For enforcement purposes, the government went ahead to establish the Financial Intelligence Unit, an agency mandated to share information on suspicious transactions across borders.

But for the steps to be effective, considering the cross border nature of the crime, it is imperative that other member states put in place laws against money laundering as well as enforcement structures.

With terrorism threats on the rise, banks and other financial institutions in the region should make the necessary investments in anti-money laundering to combat the financing of terrorism.

Countries should remove the obstacles that limit the fight against financial crimes and the abuse of the banking system in the region.

Banks and non-bank financial institutions should be required, by legislation, to put in place mechanisms to fight money laundering, including training their staff.

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