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Kenya and Tanzania struck off list of countries tracked for money laundering

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Kenya and Tanzania have put in place local regulatory measures to curb money laundering. Photo/FILE

Kenya and Tanzania have put in place local regulatory measures to curb money laundering. Photo/FILE  Nation Media Group

By PETERSON THIONG’O The EastAfrican

Posted  Saturday, July 5   2014 at  15:07

In Summary

  • Under rules established by the FATF, member countries are required to put in place laws and institutions that enable them to track suspicious monetary movements through establishing a financial intelligence unit.

Kenya passed an anti-money laundering law last year that led to the formation of the financial intelligence unit to track suspicious transactions. Banks and forex bureaus are now required to report any transaction about $10,000 and flag any suspicious financial movements.

According to a report released by Unep, terrorist groups like Al Shabaab and militias in countries like DRC take advantage of weak laws in countries to move proceeds from criminal activities and so fund their activities.

The UN agency estimates that the Al Qaeda-linked group makes as much as $50 million from illicit charcoal exports every year. Kenya is seen as a key destination for much of these and other illicit inflows from countries in the Great Lakes like Congo.

For example, in 2013, the UN estimated that gold worth at least $400 million was smuggled out of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda and other East African countries with the proceeds being used as a source of financing for the wars raging in the eastern DR Congo.

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