Tuesday, 05 December

Ghana angry with European Commission over money laundering tag

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Ghana has expressed unhappiness with the proposal by the European Commission to add her to the list of high-risk third world countries with strategic deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes.

“Just as the methodology used to publish a similar list on February 13, 2019, which was eventually withdrawn due to lack of clarity and transparency  in  the  process  of identifying third countries, we consider the methodology used to come up with this new list once  again  unfortunate”, a statement from the Ministry of Finance stated.

The statement added: “It is instructive  to  state that the  European  Commission  has  not engaged  Ghana  concerning  any  shortcomings  that  needed  to  be  addressed  nor  was  the country  given  the  opportunity  to  implement corrective measures.  On the contrary, when Ghana’s progress report was being discussed at the last  FATF  Plenary  meetings  held  in Paris,  France  on  February  19-21,  2020,  no  adverse  comment  came  from  the  European Commission.”

Ghana, therefore, expressed surprise that the EC would add her to the list barely three months afterwards.  

Continuing, the statement said the European Commission’s proposal to include Ghana in their list of jurisdictions with  strategic  deficiencies,,  therefore  does  not  reflect  the  current  status  of  Ghana’s AML/CFT  regime.

“The EU’s  blanket  decision  to  include  all  countries  on  the  FATF  list irrespective  of  the  progress  made is unfortunate”, it emphasised.  

“The  Government  of  Ghana  is  always ready  to  engage  with  the  Commission  about  the  true  status  of  the  country’s  AML/CFT regime  and  efforts  being made to strengthen same.  

Ghana  is  confident  about  exiting  the FATF  list  by  December  2020  as  per  the  agreed  Action  Plan  with  FATF.  Ghana has an enviable reputation as a ‘Pillar of Stability’ in Africa and we are committed to ensuring that Ghana becomes the most attractive Africa destination for investment”

Following the discussion of Ghana’s Mutual Evaluation Report by FATF during their plenary  meetings  in  October  2018,  FATF  identified  some  strategic  deficiencies  in  the country’s AML/CFT framework. FATF has thus worked with Ghana to draw up a two-year Action Plan (2019 -2020) which Ghana is on course to completing.  

The  country  has  since  been  having  periodic  face-to-face  meetings  with  the International  Country  Risk  Group  ICRG  to  assess  the  progress  of  implementation of the Action  Plan.  

The  last  face-to-face  meeting  was  from  15-17  January 2020  in  Rabat, Morocco.  

The statement noted that it  is  worth  mentioning  that,  since the  Action  Plan  was  adopted,  Ghana  has consistently demonstrated a high level of political commitment to implementing the Action Plan and has always received positive commendations from the FATF.

Indeed, the ICRG in  their  report  to  the  FATF  Plenary  meetings  in  February 2020,  acknowledged  that  all timelines  due have  been  met  and  some  action  items  addressed  even ahead of their timelines. 


Source: classfmonline.com