Actions taken to deal with financial risks

Business

By CLARISSA MOI
THE national coordinating committee (NCC) on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing released two documents in Port Moresby yesterday.
They are:
lThe national anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing strategic plan 2017-2022 to be used as a guide to deal with risks involved in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing in the country; and
lPNG’s first money laundering and financing of terrorism national risk assessment (2017) to identify the risks.
Bank of PNG financial analysis and supervision unit (Fasu) director Benny Popoitai said it had taken them since 2017 to do national risk assessment and come up with the national strategic plan.
“We were grey-listed in 2013-2014, so PNG was given 18 months to come up with a plan to get the country out of the grey list,” he said.
“What happened was that Prime Minister Peter O’Neill wrote to the financial action task force in Paris and made a commitment that the PNG Government will do all it can to get Papua New Guinea out of the grey list.
“Our story began then.”
Popoitai said within 15 months, PNG was taken off the grey list by the financial action task force in Sept 2016, and recorded as one of the fastest-reforming countries in the Asia-Pacific group.
“That was a real achievement,” Popoitai said.
“To come up with a robust anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, we must have a national risk assessment to identify the risks that we are faced with.
“The real risks lie in bribery and corruption of Government-funded projects, in forestry and fishing, in tax revenue, and transfer-pricing, to name a few.
“Those are the challenges we have.”
“We have identified those risks and the strategic plan is to guide us on how we deal with those risks.
“Because the NCC is a National Government-endorsed committee, the National Executive Council (NEC) must
endorse the documents so that it becomes a certified document.
“This is so the whole-of- Government approach that we are using in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing can be adapted by everybody.”
Secretary for Justice and Attorney-General Dr Eric Kwa said the Government was working as a team and required everyone to work together to combat this issue of corruption.
The NCC is made up of different Government agencies including Bank of PNG, Royal PNG Constabulary, Department of Justice and Attorney-General and Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) .
Popoitai said NCC met every quarter to discuss issues relating to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing in the country.

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