Friday, May 20, 2022

Nation awaits Masisi’s preferred FIA Director

Almost a year since the departure of Dr Abraham Sethibe from the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) the nation is waiting to know who will replace him.

The vacant post was advertised in the print media from 2nd August 2021 and closed on the 13th August 2021 with a total of nine (9) candidates reportedly showing interest in taking over from Dr Sethibe. Sunday Standard has been informed that out of the nine, only two (2) met the requirements.

It has also emerged that the vetting process of the top two contenders has been concluded and the decision now rests with President Mokgweetsi Masisi to ‘approve’ or ‘disapprove’.

While the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development facilitates with the administration aspect of the job, the appointing authority lies with the Office of the President as per FIA ACT.

On how and when an appointment will be made Permanent Secretary to the President Emma Peloetletse says “the Appointing Authority, who is His Excellency the President, is considering the matter and a decision will be made soon.”

FIA is responsible for requesting, receiving, analyzing and disseminating financial information to relevant authorities with the aim of strengthening efforts of national and international intelligence, investigation and enforcement agencies in pursuing the global fight against Money Laundering/ Financing of Terrorism and related crimes.

The FIA top post became vacant following the sudden resignation of the founding FIA Director General Dr Abraham Sethibe in the first quarter of 2021 and in the interim, Ms Koongalele Chube was appointed as the Acting Director General.

The role of the Director General is to implement FIA mandate such as ensuring compliance by Specified parties and Accountable Institutions with the provisions of the FIA Act.

Furthermore, ensure FIA works with other stakeholders to identify, assess and understand the national level of risk related to Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism in order to develop and implement a national AML/CFT regime which includes laws, regulations, and other measures to mitigate ML/TF risks. The overall aim is to intensify the fight against crime and corruption in order to protect the financial system from misuse by fraudsters and terrorists.

In the interim Botswana has been removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey-listing of jurisdictions in October 2021, citing improvements in Botswana’s handling of its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF).

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