Addis Ababa January 4/2012 (ENA) Inability to undertake an integrate system to prevent money laundering in Ethiopia will ruin not only the national economy but also the country’s foreign investment and financial interactions at global level, according to the Financial Intelligence Center.
Experts from financial intelligence center stressed that prevention of illegal money transfer is not an issue to be left only for certain institutions it is rather the responsibility of all citizens in the nation.
Monitoring and Assessment Team Leader at the Center, Mulugeta Temesgen told ENA that despite all the losses at the national level, the trend will also affect the country`s foreign investment as well as loan and aid related interactions with international financial institutions.
“If we fail to monitor and prevent such crimes with strong mechanisms, our financial institutions will not be able to properly work with their counterparts in other countries.”
Such crimes will also affect Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) of the country as it discourages foreign investors, he said.
The prevalence of money laundering also affects loan and aid related issues with the International Monitory Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, Mulugeta stated.
Based on the evaluation from the International Financial Monitoring Task-force on the legal frameworks and its execution on the country`s financial intelligence, integrated prevention mechanism is critical to avert the threat of money laundering, he pointed out.
According to the evaluation of the task-force, Ethiopia’s legal frameworks and its implementation in terms of financial intelligence had been in a critical situation.
Though currently the nation has been registering improvements in this regard, there is still a possibility to be back to that blacklist.
“So, our efforts to tackle the challenges of money laundering should consider the global situation apart from the national benefit,” Mulugeta underscored.
Finical Crimes Analysis Team Leader, Gebeyehu Gudeta said for his part that the center was not established to function properly and implement its real mission but just to fulfill the international requirements.
Despite its decisive role for the development of the country, there had been unlawful interferences and pressures by the former leadership that had hindered it to realizing its objectives, he said.
“In addition to viewing things on political affiliation, lack of human resources and budget had been some of the predicament caused by the former leadership of the center. There had been no adequate resources, materials and technologies among other things to execute all the targets” he elaborated.
However, currently efforts are being made to strengthen the center in a bid to properly fight money laundering in collaboration with pertinent stakeholders, the experts pointed out.