TI in Africa to lead international campaign to trace laundered money
The members of the United Nations should adopt an international treaty to expedite the tracing, recovery and repatriation of wealth stolen from developing countries and transferred abroad, declared the representatives of Transparency International from 11 African countries, following a meeting held in Nyanga, Zimbabwe, on 1-4 March 2001.
The Nyanga Declaration, released today, calls for "the sealing of all known loopholes, requiring banks to open their books for inspection where there is reasonable cause to suspect illegal activity, and mandatory liquidation and repatriation of assets known to have been corruptly acquired".
Last year, Transparency International brought together 11 leading international banks to announce their agreement on the Wolfsberg Anti-Money Laundering Principles. The new guidelines on business conduct in international private banking state: "Bank policy will be to prevent the use of its world-wide operations for criminal purposes. The bank will endeavour to accept only those clients whose source of wealth and funds can be reasonably established to be legitimate." The principles, signed on October 30, 2000, also deal with the identification and follow-up of unusual or suspicious activities.
The representatives of Transparency International from 11 African countries expressed their support for the Wolfsberg Principles as "a first step towards stopping the movement of illicit wealth".
The Declaration calls upon the Organisation of African Unity to "take a leadership role in representing the interests of Africa with regard to the return of Africa's stolen wealth wherever it may be found on the globe and, as a first step, should adopt all reasonable measures to prevent the illegal appropriation and transfer of moneys from Africa's treasuries".
The Nyanga Declaration was adopted by representatives of TI from: Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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