Sunday 20 June 2021
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Suspicious transactions on a decrease

“I think it is important to understand that the FIC is just one element in an ecosystem. The FIC was established for a specific purpose, there are many functions in terms of receiving information, analysing that information, give that information to law enforcement.
It was not established to replace the competent authorities,” said Mr Ipumbu Shiimi, Governor of the Bank of Namibia, at the occasion of their launch of their Annual Report for the years 2018/2019.
The FIC made public their report for the past financial year March 2018 to April 2019.
The report outlines the governance and operational achievements for the year under review.
“On the positive side, the statistics contained in this Annual Report demonstrates that the FIC, in collaboration with Competent Authorities (CAs), continued to make inroads on disrupting criminal activities reflected as high risk in Namibia’s national Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation (AML/CFT/CPF) Risk and Threat Assessment.
Additionally, in collaboration with NAMFISA and the FIA Regulated Populace, a renewed effort was made to better understand national Money Laundering, Terrorist and Proliferation Financing (ML/TF/PF) risk and threat exposure. This was done through the finalization of ML/TF/PF sectoral risk assessments. In particular, FIC managed to better understand the use of professional    intermediaries, legal persons and arrangements for laundering purposes, resulting in renewed focus to explore alternative regulatory models, to better regulate affected industries. Collectively, the outcome of these two exercises ensures that Government’s domestic AML/CFT/CPF policy, coordination and cooperation efforts significantly mitigate ML/TF/PF risk exposure to the national financial system. Additionally, it enables the regulated populace under the Financial Intelligence Act, 2012 (Act No. 13 of 2012) (FIA) as amended, to further calibrate risk models in addressing identified high risk ML/TF/PF areas,” says Leonie Dunn, Director of the FIC.
“On the negative side, FIC’s efforts in above regard, remains hampered by limited understanding of its statutory mandate by some members of the public, other important private/public stakeholders and one CA. Insufficient understanding of Namibia’s international AML/CFT/CPF prevention and combatting obligations, FIC’s statutory mandate, as well as the obligations imposed on the Regulated Populace by the FIA, may amongst others negatively impede Government’s efforts in ensuring that Namibia’s financial system and broader economy is protected from the risks and threats of ML/TF/PF; financial sector integrity, is effectively safeguarded and international AML/CFT/CPF is effectively complied with,” Dunn further stated.
Dunn used to opportunity of the launch to iterate that the FIC has no law enforcement and / or investigative powers.
Its powers are strictly limited to the receipt, analysis and dissemination of intelligence products. Further the FIC assists through financial analytical work in ongoing investigations, when requested to do so by relevant authorities.
The number of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) in 2018/2019 financial year amounted to 1328, representing a 2% decrease, compared to 1356 STRs recorded in 2017/2018 Financial Year.
Attributing factors to the slight decrease in STRs reporting is due to FIC’s consistent AML/CTF trainings, supervision and monitoring into the quality of reporting which subsequently caused a substantial increase in the number of Additional Information Files (AIFs) reported during the period under review.
Section 42 of the Financial Intelligence Act empowers the FIC to restrict bank accounts (suspected of holding proceeds of crime) by directing Accountable Institutions (AIs) or Reporting Entities (REs) not to proceed with carrying out transactions in respect of funds under suspicion for a period of 12 working days.
For the year under review, 25 intervention cases were recorded, and the total value of such interventions was N$471 855 267.00.
The Annual Report reflects all national planning efforts undertaken in preparation for the upcoming mutual evaluation, scheduled to commence in 2020.
To ensure that a positive evaluation outcome is secured, all affected national stakeholders (both public and private sector) are urged to partake in preparatory activities to demonstrate compliance of the national AML/CFT/CPF regime with applicable UN Conventions, mandatory UN Security Council resolutions as embodied in the FATF recommendations.

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