Namibian authorities have flagged about $13.8 billion worth of transactions suspected of being in contravention of the country’s anti money laundering and illicit financial flaws legislation Bank of Namibia Governor and Chairperson the Financial Intelligence Centre Johannes !Gawaxab has said.
!Gawaxab said they have seen a record 1585 cases of suspicious transactions reported within a year.
“The ability of criminals and criminal organizations to use financial institutions to launder funds, as well as the potential risk to the reputations and safety and soundness of these institutions, and the overall stability and integrity of the financial system, remains a source of concern. Many countries have taken extensive action in recent years to put in place permanent measures to prevent and combat all forms of economic and financial crimes inclusive of money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation, and Namibia is no exception,” the central bank Governor said.
!Gawaxab said despite the operational problems brought on by Covid-19, Namibia has been able to keep a tight monitoring system on any possibilities of illicit financial flaws.
“Every year, developing economies lose trillions of dollars in illicit financial outflows, primarily as a result of criminal proceeds derived from profit generating crimes such as corruption, fraud, theft, illicit wildlife trafficking, tax evasion as well as financing 2 terrorism and proliferation. These are funds that could be used to help developing countries achieve their long-term economic growth and development goals. Financial crime overall and corruption in particular, harm economic development and deprive people of economic opportunities; these activities endanger society’s basic fabric, including safety and security, as well as political stability. Safety, security, and political stability are required for the successful implementation of in particular, economic development projects and programs,” he said.
The Namibian central bank chief reiterated many countries have taken extensive action in recent years to put in place permanent measures to prevent and combat all forms of economic and financial crimes inclusive of money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation.
“Our analytical outputs continue to be impactful and has contributed intelligence to and assisted Law Enforcement Investigations, and Prosecutions (secured during period of review) denying suspected criminals the fruits of their crimes.
“However, this is not confirmed proceeds of crime as this can either be proved or disproved by further investigations, enquiries, and court processes by law enforcement,” he said.
!Gawaxab said they have so far issued 16 Intervention orders involving 20 accounts to the value of N$ 5 million and recorded Fraud and Money Laundering convictions including one Namibian and 11 foreign nationals and securing N$24 million for state coffers.
The Financial Intelligence Centre !Gawaxab said has issued provisional Restraint orders (estimated value N$ 600 million) secured by the Prosecutor General (Corruption, Fraud, Money Laundering etc.
“I am sure that you will agree that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) in fighting these evils, is one of the institutions with the most critical mandate to protect the integrity and stability of the Namibian financial system. Not only does the institution, in close collaboration with other critical regulatory, law enforcement and private sector role players, help the country reduce and address any outflows of funds considered to be proceeds of crime, it is a critical intervention in our collective efforts to promote economic recovery, root out corruption and financial crime, and promote effective governance,” he said.