Ethiopia: AU draws attention to terrorist financing through nonprofit activities

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has called on member states to review the adequacy of their laws and regulations aimed at controlling the non-profit and financial sectors, in order to prevent the possibility of terrorist organizations posing as legitimate entities.

The Head of Defence and Security Division at the AU Commission, Dr.Tarek Sharif, made the call on Monday, warning that terrorist organizations could also, under the guise of implementing nonprofit activities, exploit legitimate entities for terrorist financing in African countries.

Opening a two-day workshop on the Legal Instruments on Combating Financing of Terrorism through Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, Sharif said that terrorist and extremist groups used legitimate private and nonprofit sectors to channel finances.

"However, the nonprofit sector remains largely ill-informed about its vulnerability to exploitation by terrorist and extremist groups. Nonprofit organizations are often small, informal and not properly regulated," he said.

According to the AU official, terrorist and extremist groups take advantage of these weaknesses to illicitly move large sums of money under the guise of implementing nonprofit activities.

For that reason, he stressed that strong regulation and oversight of the nonprofit sector would go a long way to disrupt its use as a safe haven for terrorist financing.

The workshop, being held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, aims to brief the member states on regional and international policy frameworks on money laundering and crimes related to financing of terrorism.

"Terrorism remains a major challenge to peace, security and stability of AU member States," said Sharif, encouraging the workshop participants to highlight areas of improvement to strengthen cooperation in the continent, "because we are dealing with a borderless threat with borderless impact."

As detection methods improved and countries strengthened vigilance, criminals would also intensify concealing the incomes and profits from their criminal activities, he pointed out.

"But be this as it may, preventing and disrupting financial flows must remain at the centre of any successful strategy to defeat terrorists and extremists," Tarek emphasized.
-0- PANA AR/VAO 28Nov2016

28 november 2016 15:40:12

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