Malawi will in the next 12 months conduct a national risk assessment on money laundering and terrorist financing, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has said.
The assessment, according to FIU acting director Atuweni-Tupochele Phiri, will identify and evaluate money laundering and terrorist financing risks and analyse the main sources and drivers of the risks to develop effective policies and risk-based regulations.
Phiri, speaking on Monday in the lakeshore district of Mangochi during a national risk assessment workshop, said the process will also help Malawi allocate available resources in most effective way to eliminate, control and mitigate the identified risks.
â€œThe exercise is aimed at assessing where the risk lies in Malawi with regard to money laundering, terrorist financing and other crimes. It is hoped that this assessment will provide guidance on which areas various stakeholders should concentrate on and, thus, apply more time and resources,â€ said Phiri.
She said the assessment will be carried out with technical assistance from the World Bank.
Phiri described the risk assessment as a comprehensive exercise with a view of understanding the risk money laundering poses to a particular jurisdiction.
She said the exercise has been organised in three phases, first being a three-day national stakeholdersâ€™ workshop which will be followed by data collection and review and a final workshop.
In his address marking the opening of the workshop, deputy Minister of Finance Ralph Jooma said money laundering is an enemy to Malawiâ€™s socio-economic development.
Jooma, however, said it is inspiring that Malawi has not been idle in combating money laundering. He cited the enactment of Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crimes and Terrorist Financing Act in August 2006.
Commenting on the risk assessment project on money laundering, Jooma said the results of the process will guide government on the areas of anti-money laundering regime which, he said, will require priority.
â€œIt is, therefore, imperative that all participants should be diligent, committed and open in the course of the discussion,â€ challenged Jooma.
Money laundering is referred to as the process of disguising proceeds of crime to make them appear as if they originate from legitimate sources.
Sources of such money often come in form of corruption, embezzlement, tax evasion, human trafficking, drug trafficking and arms smuggling, among others.