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EU to remove Ghana from money laundering list

The Head of Delegation of the EU to Ghana, Ambassador Diana Acconcia

The Head of Delegation of the EU to Ghana, Ambassador Diana Acconcia

The European Commission has served notice it will remove Ghana from the list of countries that failed to implement effective checks to block potential high-profile money laundering activities and terrorism financing.

At a meeting between Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the European Union acknowledged the efforts Ghana has made in implementing the action plan of the International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) in record time.

The Commission also congratulated Ghana for the reforms embarked on, as well as the sustainable, robust systems deployed towards being taken off the list.

It is expected that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, will in June 2021, announce that Ghana has been taken off its list of high risk, third-world countries with strategic deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Terrorism Financing.

In May 2020, the European Union (EU) blacklisted Ghana among several other countries for money laundering.

Three other African countries were also blacklisted – Botswana, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.

The EU said under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), the Commission has revised its list, taking into account developments at the international level since 2018 and that the “new list is now better aligned with the lists published by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force).”

The other affected countries are The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, along with Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, and Panama.

No evidence of money laundering in Ghana

The European Union in October 2020 clarified that there was no evidence of money laundering on the part of any official in the administration of the Akufo-Addo government, although it has blacklisted Ghana.

Clarifying why the West African country was blacklisted back in May 2020, the Head of Delegation of the EU to Ghana, Ambassador Diana Acconcia, said Ghana ended up on the list because it failed to comply with checks that could forestall possible money laundering.

“There is no evidence of money laundering in Ghana,” Ambassador Acconcia told Asaase Radio.

According to her, the EU would have ceased doing business with the Akufo-Addo administration if indeed any of his appointees had been caught engaging in money laundering or funding terrorist operations.

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