Liberia and Sierra Leone have endorsed a joint communiqué signalling their intent to cooperate to introduce tighter controls on their shared borders to ensure transparent currency declarations and curb illicit and illegal cross-border activities, including trade-based money laundering (TBML) and illegal trading of precious stones and metals.
The two members of the Mano River Union now want to foster similar cooperation amongst all four member states – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire – to help prevent and combat money laundering and countering terrorist financing across the region.
Shared cross-border challenges
Speaking at the signing of the communiqué, the director general of Sierra Leone’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), David Borbor, said the two countries share cross-border challenges, including TBML, illegal trading in precious stones and metals, smuggling, illicit financial flows and the manipulation of currencies through non-declaration and counterfeiting.
Both Liberia’s and Sierra Leone’s FIUs are now prepared to increase intelligence gathering and information sharing to reduce these risks and introduce new measures and activities to confiscate assets acquired with the proceeds of money laundering and trade-based financial crime.
Borber also called on Liberia to enact its draft bill, the Anti-money laundering, terrorist financing, preventive measures and proceeds of crime Act, 2021.
The bill would repeal the Anti-money laundering and terrorism Act, 2012 to enhance measures to address unlawful financing and strengthen the Liberian financial sector in line with international best practice.
Specifically, the new law would include preventive measures such as risk assessment and due diligence that were not addressed in the 2012 Act.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News