…RBM, FIA risks Malawis blacklisting
The laxity by the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) and Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to probe funds used to procure 50 percent stake in Nyasa Manufacturing Company by Gold Leaf Tobacco could lead to serious repercussions for Malawi, a financial crimes analyst has warned.
The FIA and RBM are yet to give their view on revelations that Simon Rudland, owner of Gold Leaf Tobacco who acquired 50 percent stake in Nyasa Manufacturing Company in 2018 is under investigations for possible money laundering in South Africa.
Al Ajazeera network revealed the extent of Rudland network of selling and smuggling of gold from Zimbabwe and also laundering of money and cheap tobacco within South Africa.
“It would do the country alot of damage of people at FIA and RBM continue to sleep on the job. People mentioned in the Al Jazeera documents have associates or direct financial interests in Malawi. It doesn’t need someone to tell the two agencies to follow the money of those associates or investments so we don’t make it to international gery list,” said a financial legal expert.
He said any link to Malawi in the probe would be explored and if it exposed laxity and that illegal funds were being used to procure companies it would attract international scrutiny.
“Financial Action Task Force (FATF) high-risk countries are blacklisted if they present a high-risk of money laundering and terror. FATF high risk countries are greylisted if they show commitment to resolving the highlighted strategies deficiencies within the agreed timeframe, and the jurisdiction is subject to increased monitoring,” he explained saying doing nothing on the matter is not an option.
The Financial Action Task Force (on Money Laundering) (FATF), also known by its French name, Groupe d’action financière (GAFI), is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering and to maintain certain interest.In 2001, its mandate was expanded to include terrorism financing.
Though Malawi is not a direct member, it is affiliated through the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG). South Africa is a full member.
Nyasa Manufacturing Company announced in 2018 that Gold Leaf had acquired half of the company.
Company officials are yet to respond to our questions, so too the FIA and RBM. We will publish their responses when they respond.