The move which seeks to curb money laundering and terrorist activities is entrenched in an amendment to the anti-money laundering law presented by state Minister for Finance David Bahati to parliament this afternoon.
Anti-Money Laundering Bill, 2019 Memorandum
The government is seeking to
facilitate the unlimited exchange of information between the Financial
Intelligence Authority (FIA) and related authorities across the world.
The move which seeks to curb
money laundering and terrorist activities is entrenched in an amendment to the
anti-money laundering law presented by state Minister for Finance David Bahati
to parliament this afternoon.
Bahati stated that parliament was
supposed to remove restrictions on exchange of information on money laundering
and financing of terrorist activities, between Uganda and other qualifying
countries, in the initial amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2013.
The Act allowed the Financial
Intelligence Authority to disclose information to foreign agencies if it suspected
that the information is relevant to the investigation or prosecution of a money
laundering offence. However, the use of the information was restricted to authorities
and states that have signed an agreement with Uganda.
Instead, parliament inserted a
new section limiting the exchange of information to only competent authorities,
which presented a contradiction in policies.
Now, the government argues that limiting
the exchange of information between Uganda and ‘competent authorities,’
undermines efforts to fight money laundering and financing of terrorist
Bahati adds that revoking the
section will enable Uganda to satisfy the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
standards on sharing of information and conform to international best practices
on sharing of information. The government argues that the Financial Action Task
Force (FATF) equally views the restrictions on information sharing as a
hindrance to the fight against money laundering.
The amendment will also
facilitate Uganda’s admission into the Egmont Group, a united body of 159
Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). The Egmont Group provides a platform for
the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence to combat money
laundering and terrorist financing.
The Bill has been sent to the finance
committee for scrutiny.