Gambia: Central Bank Calls for Global Action against Money Laundering

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The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) has called for global action in the fight against money laundering and other financial crimes.

Basiru Njie made this call while presiding over the opening of a five-day regional training course on combating money laundering and other financial crimes on Monday at a local hotel in Kololi.

Organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), the course is being attended by participants drawn from WAIFEM member countries.

Njie said the growth of organised forms of crime globally is alarming in today’s open and globalised financial world characterised by strong mobility of funds and the rapid development of new payment technologies.

On the effects of Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, Njie said it has an adverse effect on the health and development of the financial system. The effects of money laundering and related economic and financial crimes, he added, are enormous, causing distortions in the financial market through misallocation of investment and negating the old adage that “crime does not pay.”

“It has deleterious macroeconomic consequences such as inexplicable changes in money demand, prudential risks to bank soundness, contamination effects on legal financial transactions and increased volatility of international capital flows and exchange rate due to unanticipated cross-border asset transfers,” he said.

“As with the damaged integrity of an individual financial institution, there is a dampening effect on foreign direct investment (FDI) when a country’s commercial and financial sector is perceived to be associated with the incidence of organised crimes. The integrity of the financial system depends on the perception that it functions within a framework of high legal, professional and ethical standards.”

Speaking earlier, Professor Akpan H Ekpo, Director General of WAIFEM, said that the institute was established in 1996 by the Central Banks of five Anglohone West African countries namely, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

“The principal mandate of the institute is to strengthen capacity for sound debt, financial sector and macroeconomic management in the countries of its member central banks.”

According to the WAIFEM boss, since it commenced operations on 1997, the institute has executed 552 training and capacity building programmes, benefiting about 15,000 middle/senior executive level officials, legislators and journalists predominantly from countries of member banks but also from Francophone West Africa, Eastern, Northern and Southern Africa, as well as Latin America.


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