Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) Monday began training officials of banks in the sub-region on combating money laundering and other financial crimes, official sources told PANA here.
The five days capacity building training attracted officials from the Central Bank of The Gambia, Bank of Sierra Leone, Bank of Ghana, Central Bank of Nigeria, Liberian Bank and Inter Governmental Action Group against money laundering in West Africa.
Representing the director general of WAIFEM, Paul Mendy, said: “The quantum of financial and economic crimes have been on the increase and pose a threat to the integrity of the financial system.”
However, he said, such capacity building would help equip officials of relevant agencies to combat the menace of money laundering and finical crimes in the sub region.
Second deputy governor of Central Bank of The Gambia, Essa AK Drammeh, said: “Money laundering has an adverse effect on the health and development of financial system.”
Drammeh described the negative effects of money laundering and financial crimes as enormous, adding that it caused distortions in the financial market.
He said the menace of the effects had seriously devastated macroeconomic consequences like inexplicable changes in money demand, and prudential risks to bank soundness.
“Money laundering also has a damping effect on foreign direct investment when a country’s commercial and financial sectors are perceived to be associated with the incidence of organized crimes,” he said.
According to Drammeh, most African countries have experienced significant decrease in the number of correspondent banking relationship.
He added: “The decision to terminate these relationships is partly driven by the growing perception of the laxity in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML & CFT) enforcement landscape.”
The training course is the third in a row organized by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management for banks of the sub-region.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 29Apr2019