Government of Ghana described here on Tuesday as unfair treatment the decision by the European Commission (EC) to add the country to the Money Laundering and Terror Financing Risk list.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance noted that the EU’s decision was in spite of the commitment shown by the West African country to strengthening its evolving AML/CFT framework which has been acknowledged by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard setting body in global AML/CFT.
“We consider the methodology used by the EC flawed, as there were no communications with Ghana concerning shortcomings that needed to be improved,” the statement pointed out.
It added: “Consequently, Ghana was not given the opportunity to respond or time to implement corrective measures, which is the norm.. We therefore consider the decision to be premature and call for its reversal.”
The government statement argued that the country had successfully been through the Second Round of AML/CFT Mutual Evaluation and became the first country in the West African sub-region to have surrendered to the Second Round of the Mutual Evaluation process.
This report was adopted by the Inter-Government Action Group Against Money Laundering (GIABA) in West Africa Ministerial Committee (GMC) at its meeting in May 2017.
Although FATF identified some strategic deficiencies in Ghana’s AML/CFT framework in October last year government argued that FATF had worked with Ghana to draw up an Action Plan to address these deficiencies.
“Indeed, Ghana is currently working with FATF to effectively implement the Action Plan; and Ghana has met the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of FATF twice,” the statement noted.
For the above and other reasons stated, the statement emphasized that the European Commission’s blacklisting of Ghana therefore did not reflect the current status of Ghana’s AML/CFT regime.
“This is unfortunate, and Ghanaian authorities are willing and ready to engage with the Commission about the true status of the country’s AML/CFT regime and efforts at strengthening it,” it added.
The EC announced on Wednesday its decision to add some 23 Third countries including Ghana to its risk of money laundering and terror financing countries list. Enditem