On May 11, 2020, the European Commission listed Ghana and eleven other countries as having lapses in the country’s AML and CFT regimes, thus posing significant threats to the European Union’s financial system.
However, after talks with President Nana Akufo-Addo, the EU acknowledged Ghana’s efforts in implementing the action plan of the International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) in record time. These efforts span from various sectors of the economy such as the banking industry and real estate.
In the banking sector, banks have introduced measures such as the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) to control and identify potential money laundering activities and terrorist financing risks carried by customers. Also, banks introduced data analytics measures to identify questionable patterns as well as develop client models, tier potential risks and incorporate daily negative news alerts.
Although the real estate industry was also identified as one of the sectors that money is laundered, the industry has also contributed significantly to Ghana’s exclusion by introducing some stringent measures in the real estate industry. These include the introduction of structured training to agents to easily spot and identify potential money launders among others.
In the area of entertainment, industry watchers say market leaders Betway, introduced the ID-authentication factor for its users. The introduction of these measures makes Betway the first and only gaming entity to close-in on gaps in the industry.
Expressing his thoughts on their contribution, Country Manager for Betway Ghana, Magnus Rex Danquah II noted that Betway introduced stricter measures to enhance KYC’s. Including a registration field that requires the verification of a national ID card, mobile money number, pin number, a SIM card registered with the National ID, a card number and a bank account number.
“We put up a new registration field so you need to verify all these before you can even set up an account with us and most importantly, these cards and ID numbers must match. The system does not allow you to have a different ID card for registration and a different one for receiving funds.
Mr. Danquah II noted that Betway has also invested in teams who monitor verify every single account in the database “We are integrated with the software providers for the banks that provide a system for ID card verification just as it is done in the banks so we no longer piggyback it from the Telco’s, we work on it directly”, he revealed.
Other measures worthy of note include records keeping and capacity building for staff who have been trained to work hand-in-hand with the FIC.
Betway’s swift response to introduce these measures and other government interventions, have gone a long way to convince the FIC and the EU on Ghana’s preparedness and readiness to kick out money laundering thus, Ghana’s exclusion from countries with high levels of deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF) regimes.