The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has warned all financial institutions it would not allow them drag the country back onto the blacklisted group of countries flouting anti-money laundering regulations.
Earlier this week, Ghana was removed from the blacklisted group of countries following steps it took against money laundering and terrorism financing.
At a press conference organized by the Finance Ministry on Thursday, the Acting Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Kofi Wampah stated that sanctions prescribed for flouting the guidelines on money laundering activities and terrorism financing will be applied without fear or favour.
He said: “Sanctions are involved as well as prosecution; the offenders can be prosecuted and these will be applied. I think recently the Central Bank did apply some sanctions. These actions were not strictly money laundering but they bother on that.”
“We closed down some Forex Bureaus and even applied sanctions on one of the banks which have now been lifted. So there are sanctions for those acts and they will be applied when necessary. The blacklisting does affect the conduct of business by prolonging the time it takes to do business,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Financial Intelligence Centre has told Citi Business News there has been an increase in the number of suspicious transactions recorded in the various financial institutions.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Centre, Thompson Essel mentioned that “we have received 190,000 cash transaction which is telling us that the accountable institutions like the banks and non bank intuitions are now aware of their legal responsibilities to report to the FRC if they see anything suspicious.”
“The reporting has even led to the confiscation of about 2.5 million dollars to the state. So the reports have at least yielded some results. There have been seizures, confiscations and prosecutions,” he added.