D-Day approaches for grey-listing verdict


Namibia awaits anxiously to learn its fate next week as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) prepares to announce whether the country has successfully implemented sufficient reforms to avoid being grey-listed, Bryan Eiseb, director of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), revealed to Observer Money.

Eiseb noted that the country initially faced 72 issues identified for reform, which have now been narrowed down to just 13 remaining concerns.

Since 2021, Namibia has been undergoing a mutual evaluation process under the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG).

“Namibia has made remarkable progress in addressing the issues outlined by the FATF. Initially, we were confronted with 72 issues, primarily legislative in nature,” Eiseb explained.

He highlighted that significant legislative strides were made last year when parliament passed multiple laws to align with FATF recommendations.

“Throughout last year, Namibia enacted various laws to tackle these issues. The number of outstanding concerns has been reduced from 72 to approximately 13. Earlier this year, we provided updates on our progress during the post-observation period,” Eiseb elaborated.

The FATF is now in the process of compiling a report to assess Namibia’s efforts in avoiding grey-listing.

“We are scheduled to be in Paris next week, where we will receive feedback on the presentations we made earlier this year. The outcomes will determine our next steps as a country,” Eiseb stated.

Following amendments to the FIC’s governing act last year, Eiseb emphasized the need for the FIC to operate more autonomously, with limited ties to the Bank of Namibia, primarily in administrative matters such as human resources.

Furthermore, Eiseb revealed that the Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises is currently in the process of appointing a governance board for the FIC, in line with the recent developments in the FIC Act.

With most issues now addressed, Eiseb highlighted that the primary outstanding concern revolves around the registration of beneficial owners for companies and closed corporations.

“Our fate regarding grey-listing will be determined in Paris next week. The decision lies with the FATF Council during its meeting in Paris,” Eiseb remarked.

Namibia must demonstrate consistent progress in resolving issues related to its Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation Framework (AML/CFT/CPF) to uphold the integrity of its financial system. Failure to do so could result in a targeted FATF review or even grey-listing. Grey-listing entails close monitoring of a country’s financial transactions by the FATF, potentially harming its financial system’s reputation and impacting foreign investments and capital flows while increasing due diligence costs.

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