Zim records progress in anti-money laundering

ZIMBABWE is currently hosting a team of experts from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is in the country to assess the implementation of anti -money laundering (AML ) and counter financing of terrorism standards (CFT).

FATF is an inter-governmental body founded in 1989 with a mandate to develop policies and recommendations for adoption by all countries for purposes of combating money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The three-day meeting between FATF and various local stakeholder institutions both the private and public in Victoria Falls, which will end tomorrow (Friday), follows the determination by FATF at its October 2021 plenary that Zimbabwe had satisfactorily addressed all the deficiencies it had identified within the stipulated 2-year period.

A country is normally added to the “grey list” on the basis of deficiencies identified in the country’s mutual evaluation report. Zimbabwe’s latest assessment was conducted in 2015 and adopted in September 2016, coincidentally in Victoria Falls, when Zimbabwe hosted the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG).

The 2016 Report identified deficiencies relating to technical compliance, implementation and enforcement. As a result of the noted deficiencies, Zimbabwe was placed under FATF monitoring.

 “In terms of the FATF procedures, once it is determined that a country has completed its action plan, the next step is for the FATF to send a team of experts to the country to make an on-the-ground assessment of the country’s progress and to assess whether there is high level political and stakeholder commitment to ongoing implementation of AML/CFT Standards,” said statement released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit.

The statement added that FATF would determine during the current visit whether the country had done enough to be removed from the “grey list” of non-compliant jurisdictions.   

“After the meeting the experts will compile a report which they will present to the FATF Plenary in February. If the Report affirms Zimbabwe’s progress and high level political commitment, the FATF will then officially announce Zimbabwe’s removal from the list of non-compliant countries,” the Financial Intelligence Unit said.