This is also to improve the regulating framework for speedy passage of the preventive measures and proceed of crimes Act of 2019, coupled with AML/CFL regulation that could put Liberia on par with other countries in the world.
Addressing the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular press briefing in Monrovia on Thursday, October 14, 2021, Mr. Harris said the FIU has completed and published the National Risk Assessment document, adding that Liberia can no more perceived but rather identify its own risks.
He indicated that, President George Manneh Weah has submitted to the Legislature a comprehensive bill to fight money laundering.
According to him, the passage of the law is in conformity with international best practices and could greatly aid Liberia to be considered as a reliable country for sustainable investment.
Harris explained that several high-ranking members of the legislature have expressed full support for the strengthening of Liberia’s AML/CFT regime, which seeks to fight and prevent illicit financial practices in the country.
The FIU boss emphasized that the passage of the two legislations will robustly help Liberia to be in full technical compliance, improve structural, legal and regulatory framework to augment the country’s readiness for the second round of mutual evaluation in keeping with Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) timeline and taking of corrective actions to address all outstanding deficiency for the second round of mutual evaluation.
“When this bill is passed, it will be a big boost for Liberia’s reputation and it will protect the country’s financial system,” the FIU top official stressed
With the level of work that has been done, he said, Liberia is expected to come out with high marks in technical compliance only if the bill is passed because most of the law will meet 90% of the Financial Task Force (FATF) recommendations.
The Financial Task Force (FATF) is a global body that sets the standard for the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing of weapons of mass destruction for which all countries, including Liberia, should be in compliance.
Every country within a time interval will be assessed whether or not they are in compliance. If not, there are consequences that the country faces.
At the same time, Director Harris noted that the assessor will be in Liberia March of next year to assess the FIU to know if the unit is in compliance and if the FIU is, according to him, it will give the country a positive image, and attract investment, among others.
He also appreciated the George Weah-led Government for it supports to help curtail or minimize money laundering in the country.
It can be recalled that in 2010, Liberia was assessed and based on the forty recommendations, Liberia came out with twenty-one partial compliance and nineteen non-compliance that was bad for the country.
But it was the first time for the country to undergo such procedures, and therefore, Liberia was excluded from the blacklist.
A report was adopted and Liberia was placed under reminder actions in 2011.
Liberia has filed twelve progress reports in curbing the lapses that were assessed in 2012.