By Lincoln G. Peters
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Director-General Mr. Edwin W. Harris has accused Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Executive Governor J. Aloysius Tarlue of non-compliance posture toward an upcoming mutual evaluation process.
“I want to personally use this time again and call on the Central Bank of Liberia, the Governor, in particular, Mr. Aloysius J. Talue to see himself as the biggest supervisor body,” Mr. Harris told this paper in an interview over the weekend.
“As such, his inaction, noncompliance posture toward the upcoming mutual evaluation is completely unwarranted, and as such we think he should redirect his effort in supporting the process,” said Mr. Harris.
However, Mr. Harris did not say how Mr. Tarlue has shown non-compliance toward the mutual evaluation process.
The mutual evaluation report is an assessment of a country’s measure to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
This includes an assessment of a country’s actions to address the risks emanating from designated terrorist to terrorist organizations.
The purpose of the mutual evaluation is to provide a comprehensive and objective assessment of the extent to which the country in question has moved forward in implementing certain recommendations.
Additionally, the purpose is to counter money laundering and to highlight areas in which further progress may still be needed.
Mr. Harris explained that this process is not an FIU – exclusive process, but the Republic of Liberia.
He warned that if the country fails in this process, it will be sanctioned, not the FIU.
Harris lamented that it becomes so disappointing when the biggest [financial] supervisory body in Liberia, the CBL, through its governor, Mr. Tralue, had allegedly distanced itself from the process without any reason.
Harris complained that CBS’s alleged action is worrisome, and he does not know exactly what is going on.
He claimed that he has placed several calls and emails to the CBL boss, alleging that Mr. Tarlue has not replied to any of the communications.
“Maybe the governor had not understood the importance and significance of the mutual evaluation and the impact it has on Liberia and those he supervises,” said Mr. Harris.
Mr. Harris further indicated that the FIU will work with all, including the Bankers Association, and the Compliance Officers Forum of Liberia, to have a good rating on the upcoming mutual evaluation.
When contacted, Mr. Francis Wilson, Assistant Communication Director, CBL, said the issue raised by Mr. Harris has been addressed.
He noted that for the FIU boss to make such an allegation is unprofessional because the matter has been handled.
“The CBL is chair of the Board of FIU, so when such thing happens, it should be handled indoors instead of reaching to the public,” said Mr. Wilson.
“For the FIU to say that it’s like [it’s] making allegations against itself because it can be addressed at [a] board meeting,” he noted. –Edited by Winston W. Parley