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The Legal Framework for Anti-Money Laundering In Ghana

credit: theghanareport.com

Abstract

Ghana was recently placed on the FATF grey list due to some deficiencies identified in the country’s Anti-Money Laundering regime during its second Round of Mutual Evaluation Report. However, Ghana continues to make progress strengthening its AML/CFT laws in line with international standards and is working to implement its AML/CFT regime across all sectors and institutions.

Introduction

The principal Anti-Money Laundering (AML)legislation in Ghana is the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2020(Act 1044) as amended. Act 1044 seeks to address the deficiencies of the old AML Act 2008 (Act 749) and seeks to make Ghana adhere to international standards. Act 1044 expands the scope of the unlawful activities and the oversight of accountable institutions and imposes strict sanctions on persons who engage in money laundering.

Some notable provisions of the Act are as follows:

  1. The introduction of the concept of a virtual asset service provider which pays attention to the accountability of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
  2. Expansion of the scope of the offence of money laundering to include persons who assist in the commission of any of the unlawful activities described under the Act.
  3. Establishment of the economic and organized crime office as a specialized office to investigate money laundering and other transnational organized crime and prosecute on the authority of the Attorney-General of Ghana.
  4. The Act imposes also stringent sanctions for money laundering offences. An individual who commits money laundering is now liable on summary conviction to a fine not less than 100% and not more than 500% of the proceeds of the crime and in the case of a corporate entity, a fine of not less than 300% of the proceeds of the crime.

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) 

The FIC was established under the AML Act, 2008 (Act 749) as amended. It is the National Centre for the receipt and analysis of suspicious transaction reports for offences of Money Laundering/ Terrorist Financing and Proliferation Financing (ML/TF&P) and has the mandate to request for additional information from Accountable Institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) in Ghana.  Under Act 1044,The FIC is now expected to help accelerate the fight against money laundering, tax evasion, the financing of terrorism and other unlawful activities. The FIC must collaborate with investigating authorities and security and intelligence agencies. The Centre is also authorized to share information with foreign counterpart agencies that perform similar functions.

Legislation

The relevant legislation in the fight against ML/TF&P include:

  1. AML ACT 2020 (Act 1044)
  2. Anti-Terrorism Act, 2008
  3. Economic and Organised Crime Act, 2010
  4. AML Regulations 2011
  5. Anti Terrorism Amendment, 2012
  6. Anti Terrorism Regulation
  7. Criminal Offences Amendment Act 2012
  8. Immigration Amendment Act 2012

Regulatory Bodies

  1. The Financial Intelligence Centre.
  2. The Bank of Ghana.
  3. The Securities Exchange Commission.
  4. Ghana Pensions Authority.
  5. National Insurance Commission.
  6. Gaming Commission.
  7. The Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa. (GIABA)
  8. Economic and Organized Crime Office
  9. Ghana Police Service
  10. Bureau of National Investigation
  11. Office of Special Prosecution
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