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To fight money laundering, terrorist financing: ……FIU rolls up sleeves

Jacob Parley/Maximilian Kasseh, Jr.
 Director General of the FIU of Liberia, Mr. Alex Cuffey,
Director General of the FIU of Liberia, Mr. Alex Cuffey,

MONROVIA,LIBERIA-Liberia’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has disclosed plans to go after all forms of terrorist financing and money –laundering   in the country,  as part of ongoing efforts to advert the negative consequences the situation has on the Liberian economy.

As a demonstration of its commitment to drastically tackling money-laundering and terrorist financing in Liberia, the Director General of the FIU of Liberia, Mr. Alex Cuffey, has said two indictments are currently hanging over Monrovia, the Liberian capital, relative to money-laundering and terrorist financing cases.

Mr. Cuffey told the media that in the two cases, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the National Lottery Authority (NLA) will play a prosecuting role. The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission is one of the country’s integrity institutions.

Mr. Cuffey did not, however, disclose the names or identities of the two inductees expected to face the full weight of the law for their alleged involvement in terrorist-financing and money-laundering on grounds that  the cases are yet to reach the level where naming is permissible  or necessary.

“Full information can only be released to the media for the issue of public education when preliminary investigations are concluded.” Mr. Cuffey clarified.

He further noted that the FIU will always encourage the Liberian media community to help enlighten the public and civil society institutions on how money-laundering works and the negative impact it has on the Liberian economy.

As part of efforts to trace money-laundering and terrorist –financing, as well as those who subscribe to such crime, he said:” The FIU shares financial information with a number of     institutions, including the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA), Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Liberia Immigration Services (LIS) and the Ministry of Labor, among others.”

According to the FIU Director General, the criminals or suspects may lack such financial information that is shared with these entities.

He noted further that the FIU has access to the National Lottery Authority, an entity that regulates gaming and related programs in Liberia.

Mr. Cuffey also indicated that the FIU has the capacity to track down child traffickers and other suspected criminals without much difficulty, and spoke about plans on information-sharing with stakeholders and the launching of a six-month radio program, as part of efforts to enhance the work of the FIU, among others.

Mr. Cuffey said at present his office has been working along with 23 other institutions of government in line with its information-sharing mechanism and the building of partnership in the fight against money-laundering and terrorist financing in Liberia.

He said:” In addition to travelers declaring money, they are to also declare other valuables such as minerals.”

 


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