Government has launched a National Risk Assessment survey to identify key money laundering and terrorist financing threats and vulnerabilities facing the country, Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska has said.
Dr. Msiska said the identification of money laundering and terrorist financing risks would enhance Government’s understanding of specific money laundering and terrorist financing threats in Zambia.
“The two main objectives for the National Risk Assessment are to identify key money laundering and terrorist financing threats and vulnerabilities facing the country; and also to apply appropriate control measures to mitigate the risks,” he said.
“It will enhance scale, sources and methods of money laundering and terrorist financing, and identify vulnerabilities and risks across the various sectors. This, in turn, will provide guidance to designing the appropriate reaction capabilities to the money laundering and terrorist financing threats,” he said.
Dr Msiska said Government was fully committed and was unrelenting to efforts to address money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the country.
He was speaking at the launch of the money laundering and financing National Risk Assessment in Lusaka yesterday.
Dr Msiska said the National Risk Assessment, which would be conducted under the ambit of the national task force of senior officials through the Financial Intelligence Centre, would enhance the country’s collective understanding of the money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
“Zambia is one of the founder members of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), a financial action task force-styled regional body.
‘‘For countries to adequately deal with money laundering and effectively combat financing of terrorism, undertaking a National Risk Assessment of its money laundering and terrorist financing is a basic requirement,” he said.
Dr. Msiska said the assessment draws upon principles set out under the financial action task force international standards which required that countries and financial institutions identified and assessed their money laundering and terrorist financing risks and applied Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) measures that were commensurate with the identified risks.
And Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba noted that dealing with money laundering and terrorist financing required a national response.
Mr. Yamba said a comprehensive National Risk Assessment was therefore an important step to better understand Zambia’s vulnerability and to develop plans to deal with them.
He noted that conducting a National Risk Assessment would enable the country to prioritise the allocation of resources to enhance the country’s AML/CFT regime.
Mr Yamba said Government would be creating a conducive environment for business and investors which had positive ripple effects on economic growth.