There’s Room for Innovation in Money Laundering Fight, says Absa

There’s Room for Innovation in Money Laundering Fight, says Absa

The nature of money laundering is fast-changing as criminals are quickly evolving their methods with technological and digital advancements making it imperative for banks to find innovative solutions to curb illicit financial flows.

This was revealed by the Absa Group Head of Intelligence and Surveillance, Anil Gopaul during a key note address at the Transaction Monitoring Workshop hosted by Absa Bank Uganda in partnership with the Financial Intelligence Authority.

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“Being a pan African bank with a global presence, we have obligations to the countries we operate in, our customers and our shareholders, to ensure that our accounts are free of illegal activity,” Gopaul said.

The workshop brought together the industry players in the financial services sector to discuss current and evolving trends in the world of illicit financial transactions with the aim ofsharing ideas on how best financial institutions can tackle money laundering.

The Financial Intelligence Authority, a government agency whose mandate is to monitor and investigate all financial transactions, prevent money laundering and enforce Uganda’s anti-money laundering laws presented the Transaction Monitoring Framework.

During his remarks, Sydney Asubo, the Executive Director of the Financial Intelligence Authority cautioned financial institutions to be more vigilant when monitoring financial transactions.

“Financial institutions seem not to be paying proper attention to transactions from some of the high-risk countries on the UN sanctions list, Asubo said.

He further urged banks to take proper measures to curb these illicit financial flows and develop working collaborations with public entities like Bank of Uganda and the Financial Intelligence Authority.

Absa Group has in place a 6-month training program in its countries of operation that upskills financial analysts not only to better identify and flag suspicious transactions, but also to know which financial crimes are prevalent in specific countries.

The workshop culminated in a panel discussion featuring David Bumal Kaahwa, the Head of Compliance at Absa Bank Uganda, Ruth Kabagabane, the Absa Bank Uganda Money Laundering Control Officer, Anil Gopaul and Sydney Asub.

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