Parliament is to begin a debate on an anti-money laundering bill, which seeks to prohibit money laundering and related crimes such as terrorist financing.

The need to create a robust legal regime that can detect and expose money laundering has necessitated the introduction of the bill, according to the leadership of the House.

The bill also seeks to establish a financial intelligence system to monitor, detect and expose such crimes for the necessary action to be taken.

It was introduced in Parliament and read for the first time in June this year and referred to the joint Committee of Finance and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration.

Money laundering, according to the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), is an act to conceal or disguise the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that the proceeds appear to have originated from legitimate sources.

The crime is said to undermine the legitimate business in the private sector, influence and control economic policies, cause capital flight and loss of government revenue among others.

The Committee in considering the bill held a number of consultative sessions with various stakeholders and referred to various documents such as the Narcotics Drugs (Control, Enforcement and Sanctions Law) 1990, PNDCL 236.

It also received proposal from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and referred to comments of the International Action Group Against Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa.

The threat of organised crime, especially in the wake of global terrorism, has raised concerns both locally and internationally about the need to create a legal regime to deal with the crime.

Earlier, before the commencement of Public Business, Freddie Blay, Deputy Speaker, who presided, referred a second new list of ministerial nominees to the Appointment Committee, which would begin vetting next week.

The list has Abraham Ossei Aidooh as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mrs Esther Obeng Dapaah Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines and Godfrey Bayon, as Minister of State at the Ministry of Transportation.

The deputy ministerial nominees are: Kenwood Nuworsu, Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment; Kofi Osei Ameyaw, Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Madam Vicky Bright for the Ministry of Communications; Reverend Akwasi Owusu-Bi goes to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and PSI.

Deputies for the regions are: Samuel Obodai, Central Region; Ofosu Asamoah, Eastern Region; Mrs Agnes Chigabatia, Upper East and Madam Winnifred Asibi Dy-Yakah for the Upper West.

Source: GNA

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