20 February 2019

Ghana: Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism - Ghana Rejects Blacklisting

Ghana has expressed regret over the European Commission (EC) blacklisting the country among the list of countries with strategic deficiencies in their Anti- Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.

"The Commission's blacklist of Ghana does not reflect the current status of the country's AML/CFT regime, a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance", copied the Ghanaian Times, said.

"Ghana's commitment to strengthening its evolving AMLT/CFT framework has been acknowledged by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard setting body in global AML/CFT," the statement said.

The statement said the methodology used by the EC was flawed as there was no communications with Ghana concerning shortcomings that needed to respond or time to implement corrective measures, which was the norm.

The ministry said it considered "the decision to be premature" and called for its reversal adding that our request are buttressed by the fact that the FATF and its regional styled bodies including the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) periodically assesses the AML/CFT regime of member states by conducting Mutual Evaluation Exercises.

The statement noted that Ghana had gone through Second Round of the AML/CFT Mutual Evaluation and became the first country in the West African sub-region to have surrendered to the Second Round of the evaluation process.

The report, of which it said adopted by the GIABA Ministerial Committee (GMC) at its meeting in May 2017.

The statement further added that following the discussion of Ghana's Mutual Evaluation Report by the FATF during their plenary meetings in October last year, FATF identified some strategic deficiencies in the country's Anti-Money Laundering framework, and had worked to address same.

"Ghana is currently working with FATF to effectively implement the Action Plan," the statement said.

It added that Ghana had met the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of FATF twice, stressing that on January 17, this year, Ghana had a second face-to-face meeting in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates with the ICRG to discuss the progress of implementation of the action plan and received positive feedback from the ICRG.

The statement said Ghana had made progress in identifying the strategic deficiencies and expressed the willingness of the Ghanaian authorities to engage with the Commission about the country's progress in addressing the identified deficiencies.

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