By Ndey Sowe
Members of the Public Accounts/ Public Enterprises Committees of the National Assembly were on Wednesday, 13th January, 2021 trained on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing
The training was organized by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of The Central Bank under the support of “Inclusive Growth Promotion Institutional Support Project”, which is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The training was held at a local hotel in Senegambia.
By definition, Money Laundering is a process of making the proceeds of criminal activity appears to have been legally obtained.
Dr. Seeku AK Jaabi, the First Deputy Governor for Central Bank of The Gambia revealed that according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, money laundering is estimated at USD3-4 trillion each year.
He added money laundering and terrorist financing are morally and ethically wrong, illegitimate and punishable by law, adding Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing are two phenomena that are attracting lots of attention due to its negative impact.
Jabbia remarked: “Among those who seek to disguise the illegal proceeds of their crimes are drug traffickers, terrorists, corrupt public officials and organized criminal groups.”
He said The Gambia went through its first Mutual Evaluation exercise in 2008 following which recommendations were made by the Evaluators for The Gambia to address the identified deficiencies on its Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financial of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.
Alagie Darboe, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said the session was part of a series of awareness training programs being organized by FIU, as part of a project aimed at strengthening the AML/CFT regime in The Gambia.
He seized the opportunity to express his profound appreciation for the tremendous efforts being made by the AfDB in combating AML/CFT within the sub-region, and for their continuous support to the FIU and other Gambian institutions and authorities.
He is optimistic that the contribution of the National Assembly to AML/CFT matters is of paramount importance, and can never be understated.
Darboe added: “Funds can now move, not only across financial institutions, but continents within seconds.”
This has given money launderers and terrorism financiers the ability to engage in series of transactions, spread across several institution types, all structured to obscure their audit trails, he said.
Hon Momodou LK Sanneh, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly said the training will no doubt add value to the work of the committee members in terms of understanding how financial crimes are committed and the mechanisms or ways through which the financial gains from such crimes can be enjoyed by the perpetrators.
“I wish to state that the National Assembly of The Gambia is ready to support the FIU and the country‘s efforts in fighting financial crimes and to comply with all necessary and relevant regional and international standards”, he said.
He therefore expressed hope that the knowledge gained will assist the NAMS in the discharge of their duties as members of these important committees of the National Assembly.