The reconstituted board of the Financial Intelligence Centre Board (FIC) was yesterday inaugurated with a call on them to work hard to combat money laundering, financing of terrorism and transnational organised crime.
The seven-member board chaired by Commissioner of Police (COP), Frank Adu-Poku (Rtd), has other members as Mr Kwaku Dua, Chief Executive Officer, John Ampotuah Kumah, Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Osei Bonsu Dickson, Director of Legal of the Ministry of National Security.
Also on the board is Dr Joseph France, Director and Head of Financial Stability Department Bank of Ghana, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, Director General of Police Professional and Standards Bureau and Nana Domtie Onwona-Kwakye, a businessman.
Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei-Asare who inaugurated the board also entreated the FIC board to collaborate with the Ghana Revenue Authority to combat tax evasion and other tax crimes.
She said the FIC played very important role in the fiscal space of the economy and must work hard to protect the financial resources of the country.
The FIC was established by Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2008 (Act 749) as amended to assist in the identification of proceeds of unlawful activity, assist in the combat of money laundering activities, financing of terrorism, financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and any other transnational organised crime.
The Deputy Minister commended the FIC for the lead role the Centre played in getting Ghana off the Financial Action Taskforce (FAFT) grey list
Ghana was placed on the EU grey list because FATF had detected some deficiencies in Ghana’s Anti-Money Laundering regime and drew an action plan for Ghana with timelines from 2019-2021 to address or risk being placed on the blacklist.
Mrs Osei-Asare said by dint of hard work and with the support of other stakeholders including the Ministry of Finance, the FIC was able to complete the action plan even ahead of schedule resulting in Ghana being taken off the grey list.
That, the Deputy Minister, said had revived the confidence in the economy and Ghana being placed on a high pedestal as far as Anti-Money Laundering regime was concerned.
“It is my hope that you will continue to work hard to sustain the gains made so that we do not get back to where we came from,” she said.
The Deputy Minister entreated the board members to bring their expertise on board to help them achieve the mandate given them.
Mrs Osei-Asare pledged the government’s commitment to provide the Centre with the needed resources to help build upon the solid foundation that had been laid.
COP Adu-Poku, the FIC Board Chair in his remarks thanked the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the confidence reposed in the new board through their appointment to as board members of the FIC.
He said the board was committed to help fight and avoid the menace of money laundering, which if not well controlled, would ultimately lead to blacklisting with its attendant economic, political and social implications of the country.
COP Adu-Poku (Rtd) said the reconstituted board would work to ensure that the country did not get back to where it came from.
“But with such a rich background of members, coming from accounting, security and intelligence, legal and finance, I have no doubt in my mind that we will deliver on our mandate and that I can count on you with the support of the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Ghana and other stakeholders,” he said.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE