States unite against money laundering

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The ministry of finance is leading Lesotho’s delegation to the combined 39 and 40 Eastern and Southern African Anti Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) task force of senior officials’ meeting which ends on Friday this week.

The ESAAMLG is a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) style regional body established to fight money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The ESAAMLG undertakes its mandate by evaluating its member states for their compliance with international standards against money laundering set by the FATF. Lesotho was evaluated in 2010 and is scheduled for a second round of evaluation in 2022.

The ESAAMLG holds bi-annual meetings every year in March and September, however the 2020 meetings were both postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The acting director of the ministry of finance’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Jothame Phakisi, says the Lesotho delegation is made up of officials from different government ministries and institutions including ministry of justice, home affairs, trade, CBL, DCEO, LMPS AND FIU.

“The meeting will discuss, among others, the progress made by ESAAMLG member states in the fight against money laundering and also share experiences on new methods and ways developed by criminals to evade justice, and come up with necessary recommendations to curb crime and protect the integrity of the member states’ financial systems,” Phakisi said.

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