Story by George Sanzila
Windhoek – The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts was briefed by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) on its roles and responsibilities today (30/09/2021). The meeting is part of a series of consultative meetings with different stakeholders meant to understand their roles in order to empower the committee to conduct its oversight responsibility more effectively.
FIC is a financial intelligence unit resorting under the Bank of Namibia mandated to assist with combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation in order to protect the stability of the Namibian financial system.
According to Gerrit Eiman, Deputy Director for investigations and analysis at the agency, the unit’s power is limited to collecting and analyzing information for dissemination to law enforcement agencies for further investigation, if such information raises suspicion. He mentioned this after Members of Parliament raised concerns regarding the effectiveness of the agency given the proliferation of money laundering cases and the perceived lack of convictions.
He said so far, 435 disclosures on suspicious activities totaling N$13,8 billion have been provided. Statistics provided also revealed the agency assisted with 16 (2020) and 10 (2021) convictions involving money laundering cases. 50 (2020) and 67 (2021) money laundering cases are currently still pending.
Eiman further noted that the agency continues to issue fore warning reports to alert institutions and people about common financial scams to avoid.