Development Partners, GIABA Provide Caution On Liberia’s National Risk Assessment
MONROVIA – Two of Liberia’s main development partners, the United States of America and the European Union along with the Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money laundering (GIABA), have provided caution to Liberia to uphold professional standards in the fight against money laundering and countering terrorist financing .
In separate remarks at the start of a two day National Risk Assessment (NRA) workshop in Monrovia on Thursday, April 29, 2021, the Political and Economic Counselor of the United States of America, Joel A. Kopp proposed that concrete steps need to be applied by Liberia to robustly combat money laundering and countering terrorist financing.
According to him, every effort should be tackled and designed by competent authorities who are designing measures to protect Liberia’s Financial system from unwholesome practices.
He mentioned that risks prevention when properly address and collectively tackle by the Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia and other actors, could greatly help Liberia to move forward and get global attention.
Also speaking, the Head of Political and Economic Governance Counsellor Cooperation, Jyrki Torni stressed the need for every actor in Liberia’s money laundering regime need to exhibit the spirit of collaboration to win the battle against illegal financial acts and the reduction of corruption.
According to a key delegate of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, fighting money laundering and countering terrorist financing need to be implemented in Liberia by the Financial Intelligence Unit without fear or favor because, it is a global responsibility of every country to fight illegal financial acts.
He emphasized robustness by Liberia FIU and other anti- corruption entities to brainstorm about risks , as Liberia prepares for the second round of mutual evaluation.
For his part, Abdulai Lassana Darboe, an executive of GIABA expressed optimism that tangible measures when applied by Liberia before and after the mutual evaluation could attract huge foreign direct investments in Liberia.
According to him, investors and other financial actors look at a country global rating about the fight against money laundering and countering terrorist financing before they implement huge investments.
He urged all competent authorities in Liberia to work together, identify and assess risks in Liberia’s money laundering regime to enable the country get positive rating after the mutual evaluation early next year.
Mr. Darboe also encouraged Liberia FIU and other actors in the anti-corruption regime to be more innovative and proactive to improve money laundering standards in Liberia.
” The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning needs to exercise flexibility regarding timely financial support to FIU during the 10 months period leading to the mutual evaluation,” he emphasized.
He continues: those action plans that will be adapted during the national risk assessment validation are major activities that need commitment and collaboration from the Government of Liberia.”
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Edwin W. Harris, explained that the two days technical workshop highlight issues about insurance velnerabilities, banking sector, threat analysis, security sector, national vulnerabilities and financial institutions that fall under the Money laundering and countering terrorist financing regime.
“Other issues such as: financial inclusion product risk, terrorist financing risk, and final publication of the National Risk Assessment will be looked at and discussed, ” he noted.
However, ministries of Justice, Finance Development Planning, Central Bank of Liberia, General Auditing Commission, World Bank, African Development Bank, United States Embassy, European Union, Liberia Bankers Association, amongst others are participating in the technical workshop.