A delegation from Liberia, including the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit, anti-corruption agency and revenue authority, has on 14th April 2021 paid a courtesy call on the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. This historic meeting took place at the Conference Room of the ACC Head Office in Freetown.
The Liberian delegation was accompanied by the Manager Policy, Research and Cooperation, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Sierra Leone, Franklyn Campbell. He said the reason for the visit by their Liberian counterparts is to learn the processes the FIU in Sierra Leone used in the mutual evaluation report of the 34th Plenary and Technical Commission of Intergovernmental Action against Money Laundering in West Africa, where Sierra Leone’s FIU scored notable successes.
He said the plenary meetings are designed to host discussions among technical officials from Member States hinging around the threats posed by money laundering and terrorist financing and the challenges associated with effective implementation.
Mr. Campbell said it was due to the support and work of the ACC which made Sierra Leone’s FIU perform well in the mutual evaluation report.
The ACC Commissioner in his statement said he was happy for such a great venture by the Liberian Delegation. He said Sierra Leone and Liberia are historically connected and as such he sees both countries as one.
He added that the FIU in Sierra Leone and the ACC have a cordial relationship emanating from a Memorandum of Understanding, which provides room for collaboration and information sharing in their quest to control corruption and illicit financial transactions.
He said even though the Commission has made marked successes, overcoming the challenges is often made possible through the support from institutions like FIU-SL. He therefore encouraged the FIU-Liberia to create a strong relationship with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and other accountability institutions.
The Director of the FIU in Liberia Edwin W. Harris said his country’s FIU came into being in 2010 following the first mutual evaluation of the country. He said Sierra Leone’s performance in the mutual evaluation urged him to propose a visit to the country to learn the processes and procedures in fighting money laundering which they can use to prepare for their own evaluation and help build their institution. He thanked the ACC Commissioner and his team for granting them the opportunity and hope that this meeting will have a positive impact on their institution.
The Deputy Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission Sierra Leone, Augustine Foday Ngobie who also served as the chairman of the meeting, thanked the delegation for believing in Sierra Leone and the ACC and assured them that the doors of the Commission are always open to them.
A question-and-answer session climaxed the event.