Ghanaians have been advised to be cautious of Money Laundering (ML) activities to avert falling victims to its consequences.
Mr Seth Nana Amoako, Head of Compliance, Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) said not being cautious of it had the tendency of depriving the country of a robust economic system, frustrate developmental activities, prevent investor relations and threaten the peace and security of every human existence.
The United Nations defines ML as the conversion of the true nature of a property, knowing that such property or part thereof is derived from a criminal activity, or of assisting any person who is involved in the commission of such offence or offences to evade the legal consequences of his or her actions.
Speaking at a media capacity-building workshop organised by the centre in Accra yesterday, Mr Amoako explained that serious offences including Terrorism Financing were unlawful activities that underlie ML and were generally motivated by profits.
He said TF is defined in the Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act 874) as “the collection or provision or attempted collection or provision, by any means, directly or indirectly of funds with the intention that they should be used or in the knowledge that they are to be used in whole or in part to carry out a terrorist act.”
Mr Amoako indicated that anyone could be used as a conduit in one way or the other, depending on the scale of occurrence and the goal of the terrorists.
He stated that roles people could played included donating to unsuspecting charitable organisations or non-profit organisations and raising funds.
Mr Amoako, therefore, stressed the need for persons in doubt of others financial actions to ask questions and if suspicious, report the suspicious activity “in order to create a safe and better world.”
The Deputy Manager, FIC, Sean Henry Osei, suggested a targeted sensitisation of financial institutions and other stakeholders for them to adequately understand TF “typologies and indicators” to enhance the reporting regime.
“Ghana should ensure that law enforcement agencies have adequate awareness and skills to detect TF and reduce TF-related activities,” he added.
Mr Osei also suggested that the country ensured that TF investigations were well integrated into the country’s counter-terrorism policy, adding that “the country should pursue financial investigations when conducting investigations in terrorism.”
The FIC, established by section four of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2008 (Act 749), is the National Centre for the receipt and analysis of suspicious transaction reports and other information relevant to predicate offences of Money Laundering/ Terrorist Financing and Proliferation Financing (ML/TF&P) and to disseminate actionable intelligence to competent authorities.
It has the mandate to request for additional information from Accountable Institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) in Ghana.
The DNFPs include lawyers, accountants, notaries, auctioners, religious bodies, non-governmental organisations, real estate developers or agents, gaming sector, dealers in precious metals and precious stones and dealers in motor vehicles.