Rwanda’s parliament has ratified the country’s membership of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG).

The group focuses on all aspects of anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures and implementation, and focuses on areas of trade-based crime particularly prevalent in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Capacity building

Rwanda is joining a group that comprises 19 African countries and 19 international partners, including the UK and the US, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Its membership will allow Rwandan agencies concerned with AML/CFT activities to share information with financial intelligence units in neighbouring countries and internationally.

The country also anticipates its membership of ESAAMLG will help strengthen its capacity to introduce and implement sound AML/CFT practices.

Trade-based financial crime

ESAAMLG is a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) style regional body. The aim of the inter-governmental body is to combat money laundering by implementing FATF recommendations.

The body has a clear focus on businesses vulnerable to or likely to be involved in trade-based financial crime.

These include dealers in precious and semi-precious stones, mining companies and car dealers as well as groups involved in the illegal trade in endangered wildlife.