By Patience Azaglo Gbeze
Accra, April 30, GNA - Government has been urged to enact new laws or amend existing ones relating to banking, insurance and securities to compel them to exact sanctions on institutions which failed to comply with Anti-Money Laundering measures.
The banking, insurance and securities sectors should also exact sanctions for failure to comply with Combating the Financing of Terrorism measures.
Government is also to establish an Asset Management Office to manage tainted, seized and confiscated properties as well as amend the law to incorporate non conviction confiscations.
Mr Samuel T. Essel, the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Intelligence Centre, speaking at the National Risk Assessment Workshop on Ghana, said the recommendations came from the National Working Group inaugurated in 2014 to initiate National Risk Assessment (NRA) process for Ghana.
He said the eight working groups were established by the National Security Coordinator who is also the Chairman of the Law Enforcement Co-ordinating Bureau to brainstorm on eight thematic areas including Threat Assessment, National Vulnerability, and Banking Sector Vulnerability.
Other areas are Security Sector Vulnerability, Insurance Sector Vulnerability, Other Financial Institutions Vulnerability, Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions Vulnerabilities, and Financial Inclusion Products Risk Assessment.
Mr Essel said the group also advised the training in financial investigations for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and the judiciary to regularly update them on the global fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.
“As we speak, Ghana does not have a single certified financial crime investigator,” he said, and urged government to improve the address and identification systems by creating a platform for a harmonised verification facility to assist in investigations.
He said some of the challenges they faced include difficulty in procuring data owing to the non-co-operation and unwillingness of certain institutions to provide data, lack of knowledge and capacity among most of the unregulated sectors in the fight against money laundering and financial terrorism, and lack of interagency collaboration among institutions.
He, therefore, expressed the team’s appreciation to the Presidency and Inter Ministerial Committee for giving them the support to undertake the project and recognising the NRA as an important tool for Ghana’s economic development.