EU Urged to Remove Ethiopia from List of Countries with Weak Anti-money Laundering, Terrorist Financing Regimes

Addis Ababa The Government of Ethiopia urged the European Commission today to consider removing the country from the list of high-risk third world countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes.

The statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister said the new administration of the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has been taking important steps to effectively prevent money laundering and terrorist financing since 2018.

The government has introduced sweeping changes to the financial and judicial system to respond to the strategic deficiencies especially evident due to Ethiopia's geopolitical position in the Horn, it noted.

The statement further pointed out that Ethiopia is vulnerable to bank frauds, cyber-crime and money laundering effectuated by transnational criminals.

The new administration has continued taking steps in strictly controlling and monitoring informal value transfer networks and operations, and has implemented stringent financial sanctions against perpetrators.

It has also enhanced international cooperation with the European Union and other member state countries in strengthening the competence of relevant authorities such as the Financial Intelligence Center, Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, and the Attorney General Office.

Bearing these in mind, the statement said we urge the European Commission to consider removing Ethiopia from the list of high-risk third countries taking into account corrective measures that have been implemented, our proven commitment to combat terrorism and money laundering, and the limitations of the report in the first place.

Ethiopia, at the same time, would like to challenge the report in its limitation to name jurisdictions that are directly and indirectly playing a role in fostering illegal trends by creating a safe haven for perpetrators.

The statement noted that a good case in point is Africa's annual loss in the billions due to corruption and money laundering. Hence, we would like to call upon the European Commission to take the lead in organizing efforts to combat corruption, money laundering, and terrorism financing by taking a stand on unfair practices used by financial institutions globally.

Ethiopia is cognizant of the seriousness of the European Commission report and is committed to fighting against money laundering and terrorism financing on its home front, the office stressed, adding that it would like to express its commitment to work with the European Commission in being vigilant to uphold the integrity of financial systems.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency