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Tougher regulations needed to combat money laundering: Sudanese official

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January 17, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS), Mohamed Ali Al-Sheikh, has acknowledged lack of transparency in reporting money laundering cases in the country.

Al-Sheikh, who addressed a workshop on evaluating risks of money laundering and terrorism financing on Thursday, said that monitoring bodies within the CBoS, ministry of interior, and General Customs Administration (GCA) would not be able to combat money laundering without effective cooperation of the compliance officers in the commercial banks.

He described Sudan’s rating of compliance with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as unsatisfactory and added they are concerned about Sudan’s current standing, saying that it would expose the country to greater risks.

The FATF is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

He acknowledged that combat operations within all institution in the country are “weak and slow”, calling upon compliance officials to put more efforts into identifying risks within financial institutions besides implementing the FATF 40 recommendations on money laundering and terrorism financing.

Al-Sheikh further expressed fear of curtailing the role of compliance officers within financial institutions.

“If we meet the international requirements, we will not be targeted”, he added

The certified specialist in money laundering and terrorism financing, al-Sadiq Osman Abdel-Magid, for his part said that international rate of money laundering is between 2% to 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is equivalent to $1.5 trillion.

The participants in the workshop also disclosed that suspected cases of money laundering in Sudan last year were only eight.

(ST)

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