Rwanda to join regional anti-money laundering body

Rwanda to join regional anti-money laundering body

Parliament has ratified Rwanda’s membership of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (a member of an international umbrella organisation based in France that deals with regulations and standards aiming at fighting money laundering activities).

By joining the body that comprises 19 African countries and 19 international partners, including UK, US, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Rwanda seeks to increase preparedness against the vice.

Being part of the body will see Rwanda share information and legal assistance between financial intelligence units to improve capacities in tackling money laundering.

“Our region is prone to money laundering. We need to be prepared, exchange information with other countries and support each other in updating regulations and laws on money laundering as it is a dynamic trend,” Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana (Minister of State for Economic Planning) said.

Tanzania and Kenya are also members of the body.

“We share information and have similar instruments. In this region, we have some terrorist movements such as Al-Shaabab, which have made countries like Kenya vulnerable,” he said.

Rwanda has internal mechanism to deal with money laundering, including regulatory and legal framework.

In 2008, a law on prevention and penalising the crime of money laundering and financing terrorism was passed and is implemented under the oversight of the central bank.

Financial sector experts say the move is important, noting that money laundering is increasingly becoming prevalent in developing economies.

According to Allan Gichuhi, an Ernst & Young Rwanda partner, the vice is a growing concern in developing countries and it goes along with illicit trade, drug dealing, human trafficking, and financing of terrorist activities, and countries are coming up with multiple mechanisms to combat it.