April 6, 2009

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) is to issue a directive to control money laundering in view of restraining terrorist transactions.

Sources told Capital that the new directive, scheduled to be issued shortly, is expected to block illegal money transfers.

The central bank’s legal office, that regulates and monitor financial institutions in the country, told Capital that they have been in a meeting to pencil the final adaptation of the directive and could not comment further.

According to sources, private banks have been notified to comment on the draft law before it comes into effect in the next couple of weeks.

Money laundering, a practice of disguising illegally obtained funds so that they seem legal, is a crime in many countries with varying definitions. It is the practice of engaging in financial

transactions to conceal the identity, source, or destination of illegally gained money.
In the past, the term “money laundering” was applied only for financial transactions related to organized crime. Today its definition is often expanded by government and international regulators to mean any financial transaction which generates an asset or a value through an illegal act, which may involve actions such as tax evasion or false accounting.

In a related development NBE issued an advisory alert to the public to be vigilant in money transactions, especially with large amounts.

The bank notified the public that a substantial amount of counterfeit money is circulating on the market.

According to the bank’s notice phoney 100, 50, 10 and 5 birr notes are circulating on the market. The bank also stressed the public to note the features of the original bank notes.
Last week police seized a large amount of phoney US dollars, Sudanese pounds and Ethiopian birr ready to be circulated in various parts of the country.

Police announced that the fake 100 and 50 Ethiopian birr notes, totalling 153,450 birr, and 40,000 forged Sudanese pounds, as well as a large amount of US dollars, were among the forged currency seized.

The crime of circulating forged currency is expanding, particularly in rural areas of Ethiopia, according to police reports, affecting the country’s economy.

Source Capital