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Fight against money laundering must continue, Somali central bank says

Thursday 7,March , 2024 {HMC} The Central Bank of Somalia has reiterated its commitment to implementing anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations to combat financial crime.

Speaking at the Central Banking Spring Meetings in South Africa, Ali Yassin Sheikh, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Somalia, highlighted recent efforts by the central bank to utilize new methods to combat financial crime and promote financial inclusion.

On Wednesday, the Somali government announced the blocking of seven million US dollars, the closure of 670 telephone numbers, and the shutdown of 110 merchant accounts reportedly linked with terrorist networks. Terrorist networks allegedly used these numbers and accounts to threaten, extort, and hoard money from Somali businesses.

Last year, the government closed approximately 250 accounts linked to militants in four banks and also disrupted the network and data services of around 70 mobile phones used by militants to transfer money.

In 2023, the central bank implemented the Somali National Quick Response (QR) Code Standard to modernize and digitalize the national payment systems in the conflict-ridden Horn of Africa nation.

In 2021, CBS launched a national payments system to promote interoperability among the country’s 13 lenders. Additionally, in March 2023, CBS announced the adoption of International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN) by all banks in the country, reducing operational risks for banks.

However, terrorist groups like Al-Shabab have continued to fund themselves for years by extorting businesses in Mogadishu and collecting taxes in areas under their control.

Source Hiiraan Online 

 

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