The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which leads global action to tackle money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing said this week that it could not comment on newly announced legislation announced by the Bank of Namibia and its effectiveness on Namibia’s framework to combat money laundering or terrorist financing.
The Bank of Namibia recently disclosed that the Cabinet Committee on Legislation has approved 11 amendments and two new bills that, when passed by the legislature, will ensure that Namibia’s legal framework is fully aligned with new developments in global anti-money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing standards.
A country that is greylisted is an indication the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international watchdog, has identified strategic deficiencies in applicable systems to counter financial crimes.
Greylisting means a country is under increased monitoring due to a lack of policies and procedures to deal with anti-money laundering, combatting the financing of terrorism and proliferation financing framework.
“We cannot comment on the impact of the specific legislation that you mention below on the effectiveness of Namibia’s framework to combat money laundering or terrorist financing. A country’s protection against these risks is a complex framework of legal, regulatory and operational measures. The FATF can only comment on a country’s efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing in the context of a mutual evaluation or related follow-up process in which it analyses the relevant legal and institutional framework, and discusses how effectively the country is preventing, detecting and punishing money laundering and terrorist financing,” the FATF said in a response to questions by Observer Money.
FATF updates its statements identifying high-risk and other monitored jurisdictions following each Plenary in February, June and October.
“Namibia is not on the list of countries under increased monitoring, also referred to as the grey list. We cannot speculate about the countries expected to enter or exit the public statements after our next plenary,” said FATF said.
The Bank of Namibia said the proposed bills and amendments will help Namibia register a positive momentum to address mutual evaluation findings related to its Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation Framework (AML/CFT/CPF).
The central bank said to effectively mitigate the risk of a targeted review or Grey Listing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Cabinet approved a National Action Plan in December 2022,
following the adoption of the Namibian Mutual Evaluation Report by the Eastern and Southern African Anti-Money Laundering Group’s Council of Ministers in September 2022. The National Action Plan includes the proposed legislative changes and enhanced effectiveness measures by law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to address the findings.
The Amendments and Bills have been reviewed and approved by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation are the Financial Intelligence Act, 2012 (Act. No 13 of 2012) amendment, the Prevention and Combating of Organised Crime Act, 2004 (Act No. 29 of 2004) amendment, the Prevention and Combating of Terrorist and Proliferation Activities Act, 2014 (Act No. 4 of 2014) amendment, the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977) amendment, the Police Act, 1990 (Act No. 19 of 1990) amendment, the Extradition Act, 1996 (Act No. 11 of 1996) amendment, the International Cooperation in Criminal Matters Act, 2000 (Act No. 9 of 2000) amendment, the Companies Act, 2004 (Act No. 28 of 2004) amendment, the Close Corporations Act, 1988 (Act No. 26 of 1988) amendment, the Banking Institutions Act (Act 2 of 1998) amendment and the payment Systems Management Act (Act 18 of 2003) amendment.
The new bills are the Trust Administration Bill and the Virtual Assets and Initial Token Offering Services Bill.