New Era (Windhoek)

10 July 2014

Namibia Joins Financial Intelligence Network

Namibia has joined the exclusive five southern African countries as member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units' network. This is a network of 135 countries around the world that are determined to root out crime through rapid exchange of information pertaining to financial crimes and assets derived from the commission of financial crimes. Belonging to the network strengthens the country's national agenda to pro-actively combat crime and preventing criminals from enjoying the proceeds of their criminal activities. Namibia joins Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania, Seychelles and South Africa who already belong to the network.

"This is important for Namibia to ensure that we do not allow financial crimes, such as money laundering and illegal drug trade to continue destroying our social fabric and to put our children's future in jeopardy. In doing this, we also recognise the importance of international cooperation in the fight against money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation financing," Bank of Namibia said in a statement yesterday. "This enables the Financial Intelligence Unit in cooperation with law enforcement agencies (Namibian Police, Anti-Corruption Commission, Intelligence Services, Prosecutor-General, Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue) to timeously, pro-actively and rapidly identify proceeds of crime and remove assets acquired from proceeds of crime from the hands of criminals, regardless of when the crime was committed," said Leonie Dunn, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit at the Bank of Namibia.

Namibia is the first African nation and one of only few jurisdictions in the world, which successfully conducted a National Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risk and Threat Assessment. This assessment enabled Namibia to develop laws, policies and cause resource allocations to address and mitigate high risk Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing areas. This further assists the country to protect its economy and citizens from the impact of financial criminal activities. The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units is an established formal network of Financial Intelligence Units with the main objective of stimulating international co-operation to pro-actively and timeously combats all aspects of financial crime.

It enables Financial Intelligence Units to rapidly exchange information with counterparts across the world, which allows the rapid identification of all assets acquired with proceeds of crime and secure the removal of such assets from criminals and criminal enterprises.

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