Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says South Africa will do everything possible to avoid being blacklisted, which he says will have dire consequences for foreign investment in the country.
Lamola says the gray list risks reducing investor confidence and adversely affecting the country’s financial well-being.
He was speaking to investors at the Rand Merchant Bank Big Five investment conference in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Lamola says the government has taken five effective high-level actions in response to a warning from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering body.
He says: “Obviously we are concerned. That is why you would see that we have started the processes of responding to the recommendations made by the FATF and I have outlined most of them, including amendments to various pieces of legislation, but the main thing is the commitment that we have shown. And the fact that some of them are already in parliament is a clear sign that the government is committed to responding to these challenges of illicit cash flow.”
Money laundering matters
Lamola says a tripartite agreement has been reached between the National Prosecuting Authority, the Financial Intelligence Center and the Priority Crime Investigation Branch (Hawks) to speed up criminal and financial investigations into money laundering.
He says the forum has six cases on its radar, three of which are MLAs, which have an element of money laundering. These cases have been included in ten priority committees and are under close supervision.
Lamola says the Organized Crime Unit continues to engage in multi-disciplinary stakeholder initiatives focused on investigation and prosecution.
“Six organized crime cases have been registered, including those related to gold smuggling across South African borders, gold trade worth 775 million rand, in which an ex-jewellery dealer, a gold dealer, a refiner and companies are being prosecuted.
In addition, several design studies are being conducted in this area. Nine cases were completed on tax criminal cases related to money laundering. In three cases, immediate imprisonment was ordered,” says Lamola.
Lamola says the bureau’s anti-money laundering strategy has been formulated.
“The National Prosecuting Authority for Anti-Money Laundering has developed an Anti-Money Laundering Unit Strategy that covers both the investigation and prosecution of money laundering and terrorist financing. The strategy aims to tackle money laundering in all its forms, but it has a particular focus on money laundering as the most important cause of serious and organized crime, corruption and terrorism by the National Prosecuting Authority through its anti-money laundering work. desktop,” says Lamola.
DOCUMENT: Justice Minister Ronald Lamola’s speech at the Rand Merchant Bank Big Five Investment Conference: