Botswana is itching closer to complying with regional and international standards to prevent the flow of illegal money into the country.
The Financial Intelligence Agency under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development this week revealed that it has completed a National Risk Assessment (NRA).
It was further revealed at a workshop that the objective of NRA was to better understand the country’s money laundering and terrorist financial risk which will result in efficient allocation of resources applicant to mitigate risks faced.
National Risk Assessment require that financial institutes and the country identify and access their money laundering and terrorist financing risks and apply anti money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML and CFT).
Elaina Gonsalves from the Ministry said Botswana went through the assessment to comply with regional and international financial standards adding that Botswana is the 11th country to complete the assessment insuring that the country‘s approach to prevent financial crime is gained and facilitated.
“It was a difficult task as Botswana is currently in the process on building their Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing on Terrorism regime to meet the international standards. The NRA should not be relied on in isolation, the improvement should assist in Law Enforcement agencies, Monument, Supervising bodies and the Private Sector,” she said. .
She said the FIA was tasked with coordination of the project and they were assisted by the World Bank to ease the flow of the NRA project.
Speaking on behalf of World Bank Ms Ellen Imnadze said the completion of NRA by Botswana would help to avoid money laundering and Financing in Terrorism, real progress to mitigate in preventing corruption and other financial crimes.
For her part, the Director General of the DCEC Rose Seretse said “we were not under pressure to construct the assessment project but it was not easy, it complies with best practices. The project goes along with risk assessment and risk mitigation measures. The National Risk Assessment is a deliberate self check to comply with international standards and designated to avoid risks and threats.”
She said they were divided in eight groups, First group for terrorism financing, second group for National vulnerability and the rest of the groups were on local vulnerability.
The overall national vulnerability is medium high with a low capacity to deal with threat with top five high risks are Poaching, Motor vehicle theft, Taxation, Obtaining by false pretences and corruption. She recommends automation of systems and capacity building of law enforcement services.