Liberia Scores High Marks At GIABA Plenary

Liberia scored high marks at the just ended GIABA Plenary held in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire from May 18 to May 23.

The GIABA Plenary commended Liberia for taking significant steps at the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the country. Plenary therefore maintained Liberia on the Regular Expedited Follow- Up Process and requested Liberia to submit its 5th Follow-Up Report to GIABA Secretariat before the May 2016 Plenary.

According to a press release, the plenary requested Liberia to submit a progress report to GIABA Secretariat before the November 2015 Plenary on the following: Criminalize the outstanding predicate offences including Illicit trafficking in stolen and other goods; illicit arms trafficking; and counterfeiting and piracy of products and amend existing anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws to adequately empower Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA5) to confiscate property/proceeds of crime

The release said Liberia was aslso requested to establish robust procedures and mechanisms for implementing UNSCRs 1267 and 1373. Such procedures and mechanism should, amongst other things, highlight procedures for considering de-listing as well as requests for unfreezing funds; effective systems for communicating actions taken under the freezing mechanism to reporting entities; ensure effective AML/CFT supervision for reporting entities, and strengthen domestic cooperation; and Enhance the operational capacity of the FlU and other competent authorities for effective implementation of relevant laws and regulations, and indeed, the AML/CFT regime in the country.

Liberia’s delegation to the GIABA Ministerial Committee (GMC), comprising of Ministers of Finance, Justice and Interior/Security was led by the Minister of Justice, ClIr. Benedict Sannoh. The delegation included the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hans Barchue; Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and Board Chairman of the FlU, Mr. Charles Sirleaf; and the Chief Executive Officer of the FlU, Mr. Alex Cuffy. The GMC meeting was held on Saturday, May 23.

The delegation to the GIABA Technical Commission meeting held from May 18 — 22 was headed by the CEO of the FlU, Mr. Alex Cuffy. The high power delegation from Liberia included His Honour Yusuf Karba and Her HonourNancy Sammy — Circuit Court Judges; Cllr. Joseph Jallah — Legal Counsel and Mr. FonsiaDonso — Assistant Director of Supervision/Surveillance at CBL; Mr. Chris Wallace — Assistant

Commissioner for Research and Planning at LRA; and Gabriel Bellepea — Chief Operations Officer, Atty. Wonder Freeman — Legal and Cooperation Manager, and Mr. Cooper Leemah, II — Analysis Officer at FlU. Liberia was represented at the GIABA Risk, Trends and Methods Group (RTMG) meeting held on May 18 by Atty. Wonderr Freeman, Legal and Cooperation Manager at the FlU and His Honour Judge Yusuf Kaba, Resident Judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit Court. Liberia was elected as Co-Chairman of the RTMG.

The Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia (FlU) is the central, national agency of Liberia responsible for receiving, requesting and conducting preliminary investigations, analyzing and disseminating information concerning suspected proceeds of money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.