Terrorists buy property and digital currency to hide and move cash
Purchase of property, cash transactions, cyber currency (such as bitcoin) and the dark web are some of the ways used by terrorists to launder money.
Muthoni Kimani said combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism is most important global agenda.
The director of Assets Recovery Agency was speaking at a conference on money laundering and asset recovery on behalf of the Attorney General.
“Money laundering and financing terrorism pose a threat to global economies and security. Prominence in the age of globalisation, advanced technology and the internet have made it very easy and convenient to move highly illicit funds,” Kimani said.
She said, however, advancement in technology has also made it easy to track terrorism financiers and money launderers.“Tracking the movement of illicit financial flows is important and is one of the tools that can be used to counter criminal syndicates.”
The conference hosted by Conference of Western Attorneys General Africa Alliance Partnership was aimed at training prosecutors and investigators on ways to counter money laundering and terrorism financing.
“Kenya has put in place a legal framework and institutions to combat money laundering and recover proceeds of crime,” Kimani said.
“The attorney general has partnered with CWAG-AAP to train prosecutors and investigators on ways to counter money laundering and terrorism finance.”
Institutions collaborating with the government include Finance Reporting Center, Assets Recovery Agency, National Counterterrorism Centre and Central Bank, which regulates financial institutions and reports suspicious transactions.
James Manyonge, the legal adviser of Financial Reporting Centre, said banks and telecos are the leading source of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) at 70.4 per cent and 14.56 per cent.
Other financial sources of STRs include microfinance institutions ( 4.24 per cent), insurance firms ( 1.28 per cent), money remittance providers( 5.39 per cent), stock brokers ( 0.76 per cent), collective investment services ( 0.06 per cent), funds manager ( 0.45 per cent) and investment banks ( 0.31per cent).
Manyonge said the total reports accumulated from 2012 to 2018 were 10,217. “We have received 2,200 money laundering reports, which have been the highest ever made, followed by 1,200 cash withdrawals,” he said.
Source: The Star