IGG, Financial Intelligence Authority to Jointly Fight Money Laundering

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In short
Justice Mulyagonja said the MoU is a move to further strengthen the coordination between the anti-corruption bodies. She revealed that the FIA has already started furnishing them with vital financial intelligence, hence the need for confidentiality and specificity of the kind of information shared.

The Inspectorate of Government (IG) and the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to share information on money laundering and other forms of illicit financial flows.

Money laundering refers to a financial transaction scheme that aims at concealing the identity, source and destination of illicitly obtained money through corruption, transfer pricing, smuggling, trafficking in arms, humans and drugs, among others.

Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja and FIA Executive Director Sydney Asubo signed the MoU this morning imposing a number of duties and responsibilities on the two parties as they share information in the fight against illicit financial flows.

Justice Mulyagonja said the MoU is a move to further strengthen the coordination between the anti-corruption bodies. She revealed that the FIA has already started furnishing them with vital financial intelligence, hence the need for confidentiality and specificity of the kind of information shared.
 
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FIA Executive Director Sydney Asubo said involvement of the IG is crucial because corruption is the major form of illicit financial flows.

Asubo added that under the MoU, the authority will provide the IG with significant information for investigations and prosecutions where necessary. He however adds that they want the integrity of the information not to be compromised, like through premature leaks in the media or disclosure to the targets.
 
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Both Justice Mulyagonja and Asubo agreed that real estate is an area where there is a lot of cleaning of dirty money by the corrupt, adding that getting to the bottom pose some challenges. Asubo revealed that FIA is carrying out a national risk assessment to identify high and low risk areas and come out with necessary interventions.
 
Uganda loses at least 12 percent of its national budget through illicit financial flows, according to the FIA. That is about 2.8 trillion Shillings, which is equivalent to the entire budgetary allocation for works and roads.

The Inspectorate of Government is an independent institution charged with the responsibility of eliminating corruption, abuse of authority and of public office. The IG powers include investigating or causing investigation, arresting or causing arrest, prosecuting or causing prosecution, making orders and giving directions during investigations, among others.

The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), on the other hand, is a statutory body established under the Anti-Money Laundering Act and is mandated to combat money laundering and other illicit financial flows in Uganda. It has been in existence for two years now.

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."