The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Liberia has fined GSM Company Orange Liberia LD$337,500 for failing to file suspicious transaction report.Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, 6 November, FIU Director General Mr. Edwin W. Harris, Jr., said the fine is in keeping with Section 67.3 (n) of the Financial Intelligence Unit Act of 2013 and Section 3.2.2 of the Regulation on Suspicious Transactions Reporting for financial institutions.
According to him, the imposition of the fine is a result of onsite anti- money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism compliance monitoring of Orange Money conducted by the FIU from April 23 to 25 2019.The FIU chief reveals that the exercise was necessitated by the failure of Orange Money to submit a single suspicious transaction report to the FIU since 2017.
Harris adds that the FIU has mandated Orange Liberia Mobile Money to present an official Government of Liberia Revenue receipt to its offices within 72 hours, or it will face additional actions in keeping with the laws and authority of the FIU of Liberia.The FIU also notes that it will issue a new circular amending Section 3.2.1 of both suspicious transactions reporting and currency transactions reporting regulations to make sanction proportionate and dissuasive.
Harris explains that the FIU will be instituting whistleblower hotline numbers to the public for the community to participate in reporting incidents of money laundering, properties related to the proceeds of crime and other predicate offenses.
The FIU is at the same time calling on all reporting entities in furtherance to its zero tolerance stances on non – compliance to take their anti – money laundering and counter – terrorist financing obligations seriously.Meanwhile, Orange Liberia Mobile Money is given 90 days to take corrective actions to avoid such occurrences that led to the imposition of the fine.By Bridgett Milton–Edited by Winston W. Parley