Money laundering a big issue in Botswana- Kgathi

23 Nov 2018

The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi has raised fears over weak interventions in fighting money laundering and other crimes.

He expressed concern that while Botswana has 25 pieces of legislation which were enacted or amended to facilitate various sectors in dealing with different challenges or effects of money laundering and financing of  terrorism, the country has to do a lot more with respect to effectiveness of the intervention measures.

Speaking during the Judicial Conference in Francistown last week he said there is need for measures such as establishing national organizational structures envisioned in the provision of the relevant acts.

“There is need to put in place robust systems for controlling and monitoring the inflow and outflow of money through the banking systems; non-banking systems; trusts and non-profit organizations,” he said.

He said as a result of identified weaknesses, Botswana is likely to be red-flagged globally, which will also affect all government and private sector, financial transactions and systems and ultimately the economy at large.

Botswana is also currently faced with other criminal threats such as human trafficking, proceeds of crime, arms trafficking; drug trafficking and weapons of mass destruction.

Minister Kgathi however said to support the judiciary with knowledge base in this regard, he has directed the Permanent Secretary in his ministry in collaboration with the Registrar of the High and Master of the High Court to work on the logistics and the timetable for the provision of training necessary for the Judicial officers on matters of money laundering, counter financing of terrorism and related legislation such as those relating to proceeds of crime, trust properties, human trafficking and weapons of mass destruction.

“Such knowledge in my view will be beneficial not only to the Judiciary, but also for the victims, complainants and the accused persons themselves since all participants will be sufficiently informed,” he said.

Botswana is a member of the East and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), whose main objective is to ensure that member countries implement agreed global anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism intervention measures and standards under the auspices of the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the Financial Task Force (FATF).