By Samira Larbie, GNA
Accra, April 17, GNA - Mr Seth Nana Amoako, Head of Compliance Unit, Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), on Wednesday called for effective cooperation among stakeholders in combating Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in the country.
He said developing cooperative relationships among the public, private and non-profit organization sector was critical to raising awareness and fostering capabilities to combat terrorist abuse.
Mr Amoako made the call at a training workshop organised by the Department of Social Welfare for Civil Society Organisations and Non-governmental Organisations on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing.
He said it was time countries encouraged the development of academic research and information sharing in the non-profit organisations sector to address terrorist financing related issues.
Past and on-going abuse of the non-profit organisations sector by terrorists and terrorist organisations requires countries to adopt measures to protect the region against such exploitation.
Mr Amoako said crimes of money laundering and terrorism financing had assumed transnational dimensions and become a global phenomenon.
He said syndicates perpetuated their nefarious activities through drug and human trafficking.
He attributed the surge in acts of terrorism and other organised crimes within the Sub-Region to the availability of funds to these unscrupulous people, which was mostly laundered money.
He said it was important to ensure that non-profit organisations were not misused by terrorist organizations to pose as legitimate entities.
It is also important not to exploit legitimate entities as conduits for terrorist financing, including for the purpose of escaping asset freezing measures or to conceal the clandestine diversion of funds intended for legitimate reasons, but diverted for terrorist purposes, he stated.
Mr Dela Ashiagbor, the Deputy Director, Department of Social Welfare, said the workshop was important as CSOs and NGOs were found to be high risk areas and more vulnerable to these emerging phenomena in the local and global world.
He said the fight against AML and CTF was a collaborative responsibility of all stakeholders towards protecting the economies and financial systems from the laundering proceeds of crime, hence the workshop.
Mr Ashiabor disclosed that the government had placed a bill in parliament, which would regulate the activities of NGOs.
The workshop also witnessed the election of new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism Financing Executives.