29th GIABA TECHNICAL COMMISSION/PLENARY MEETING ENDS IN SENEGAL
The Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) held the 29th Technical Commission/Plenary Meeting at Somone, Republic of Senegal, from 7th to 11th May 2018.
About 200 delegates from GIABA Member States, representatives of Central Banks, technical and financial partners as well as development partners attended the meetings.
The Opening Ceremony of the meeting was attended by authorities of the Republic of Senegal, including the Minister of State, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Planning responsible for Budget, the Deputy Director of Criminal Affairs and Pardon, representing the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, and the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department representing the Minister of the Interior.
In his address, Mr. Kimelabalou ABA, Director General of GIABA, expressed his appreciation to the ECOWAS high authorities for his recent appointment at the helm of GIABA as well the authorities of the Republic of Senegal for accepting to host this 29th Technical Commission/Plenary Meeting. “Let me first of all express my sentiments of acknowledgement and gratitude to the Togolese Republic through its President, H.E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and to the entire Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), for the trust placed on my person by appointing me the Director General of GIABA.” he stated. While commending the actions undertaken by his predecessors, Mr. ABA reiterated the key orientations of his tenure, including the pursuit of actions already planned in line with the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, the mobilization of financial resources and quest for new partnerships. He further stressed the need to pool all efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing while underscoring “…the responsibility to cooperate, carry out concerted actions in order to prevent terrorist acts and deprive criminals of their illicit proceeds…”
The GIABA Plenary meeting was declared open by Mr. Birima MANGARA, Minister of State, Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning responsible for Budget. In his keynote address, Mr. MANGARA underscored the importance of the mandate of GIABA and the FIUs in their “unrelenting fight against criminal activities…” He also referred to the mechanisms put in place by Senegal for the full implementation of the International AML/CFT Standards since the country subjected itself to the second round of mutual evaluation. While indicating that the national risk assessment which preceded the mutual evaluation had…helped to identify the sectoral and overall risks and to formulate appropriate prevention and mitigation measures, the Minister of State revealed that the recommendations emanating from this assessment exercise have been used to develop the country’s National AML/CFT Strategy.
Mrs. Ramatoulaye Gadio AGNE, President of the Senegal-FIU and GIABA National Correspondent, warmly welcomed all delegates. After underscoring the importance of the Plenary meeting, which, in her words, “provides an opportunity to assess the hurdles already scaled in our march towards a higher level of compliance of our national AML/CFT regimes...” Mrs. AGNE also briefed the meeting on the recent developments in the Senegalese AML/CFT regime on the legislative front, with the enactment of the AML/CFT Law No.2018-03 of 23rd February 2018.
The Plenary considered and adopted the following reports:
- The Director General’s Summary Activity Report for the period spanning November 2017 - April 2018;
- The reports of the Co-chairs of the Evaluation and Compliance Group (ECG), containing the outcomes of the Follow-up reports of Sao Tomé & Principe, Benin, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Union of The Comoros, Guinea-Bissau and Ghana;
- The reports of the Co-chairs of the Risks, Trends and Methods Groups (RTMG) on typologies and other research projects.
In terms of decisions taken, the Plenary maintained Sao Tome & Principe on the expedited regular follow-up regime. Nigeria, the Union of Comoros, Guinea-Bissau and Togo on the enhanced follow-up regime, while the decision to issue a Public Statement on Togo was rescinded. In the case of Ghana whose maiden report was considered after the second round of mutual evaluation exercise, the Plenary maintained the country on the enhanced follow-up process.
In accordance with the GIABA Process and Procedures for the Second Round of Mutual Evaluation, Plenary decided that Benin and Sierra Leone be allowed to exit the follow-up process in order to enable them prepare adequately for their mutual evaluation scheduled for 2019.