South Africa sets up unit to fight financial crimes in bid to get off FATF's watchlist

South Africa sets up unit to fight financial crimes in bid to get off FATF
# 01 April 2023 21:38 (UTC +04:00)

On February 24 this year, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) added South Africa to its so-called "gray list", with the global watchdog assessing the African nation as one that fails to fulfill international standards in tackling financial crimes, APA reports citing Sputnik.

The South African Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) set up a forensic unit to assist the government in fighting corruption and prosecuting complex financial crimes, as part of an effort to remove the country from the FATF's watchlist, Christopher Malan, the center's executive manager, told the media on March 31.

The unit, which is opening on Saturday, will complement the Financial Intelligence Center's structure and expedite asset confiscation and prosecutions.

According to Malan, the FIC is authorized to help ferret out criminal proceeds and combat money laundering, terrorism financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Malan said the National Treasury has allocated 265.3 million South African rand to the FIC, which the agency will use to hire staff for the forensic unit and its expanded oversight role.

"The lion's share of the funding will go toward increased oversight capacity," he said.