(Freetown, Tuesday 15th March 2022) – The National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) has officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in a bid to support with credible identity data and other biometric information on persons involved in nefarious crimes like money laundering amongst other derivative offences in Sierra Leone. This event took place at the NCRA Head Quarters, Walpole Street, in Freetown on Tuesday 15th March 2022.
Welcoming the FIU team, the Director General of NCRA Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI expressed the Authority’s delight and commitment in partnering with other Public Institutions that desire to solicit credible identity data that will support its operations.
DG MASSAQUOI went on to inform the meeting that, Section 25 of the NCR Act 2016 clearly states that the Authority, notwithstanding any other law shall provide valid and credible data to other Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) with the view to support Public Administration and good governance in Sierra Leone.
“NCRA has been working on the instruments to formalise the relationship and partnership with the FIU by way of sharing information on the identities of people that are involved in various forms of financial transactions.” DG MASSAQUOI maintained. As the central hub for credible and accurate data on the personal information of Citizens and Non-Citizens resident in Sierra Leone, NCRA collaborates with MDAs to tackle Identity issues in the bid to minimise crimes by working closely with Security apparatus to identify people or Institutions engaged in such enterprise.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Director of FIU Mr. David Borbor stated that the MOU will serve as a framework whereby information sharing relevant to Intelligence gathering, concerning financial transactions suspected of being related to money laundering, terrorism financing and predicate offences. “In the process of Identity verification, reporting entities would rely on the NCRA as an independent source of credible information for identity issues.” Director David Borbor confirmed.
He stressed that he is also ‘’aware that NCRA sits at the centre of National database project of government in financial crimes tackling’’ and further confirmed that, the FIU acknowledges the effort of government for putting in place a comprehensive and harmonised National database thereby making the work of Law enforcement bodies much easier.
Director David Borbor maintained that in addition to the information furnished by reporting entities, allied Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the FIU as an Intelligence Unit requires the full cooperation of the NCRA for building up profiles necessary for the collection of intelligence and drafting of intelligence report for the dissemination to law enforcement institutions. “This Memorandum shall mark the beginning of continuous engagement of the two institutions as part of our collective effort to build a strong, resilient and compliant anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism regime” he ended.
Climaxing the event by appending signatures to the document, DG MASSAQUOI said that ‘’ signing MOUs are in line with International standards and best practices. Countries signing International Instruments are obliged to cooperate with other countries especially in tackling nefarious crimes some of which are Money laundering and Trafficking’’. He therefore said that NCRA on its part is very much willing to comply with the dictates of the provisions of Section 25 of the National Civil Registration Act 2016 that mandates the Authority to share information with other institutions to support Public Administration and Governance. NCRA has successfully exhibited this mandate over the years by working with the Ministry of Finance, National Revenue Authority (NRA), Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority and many other institutions that needs credible data in the dispense of their daily administrative activities and operations. “In our collective effort to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, we require credible information from other institutions and reporting entities. It cannot be gain-said that NCRA is one very important institution in this regard.” said Director David Borbor, as he penned down his signature while Mr Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI signed on behalf of the NCRA.
The MOU was signed in the presence of a cross section of Senior Management staff of the NCRA and the FIU, witnessed by Martha Lawali Deputy Director External Relations and Legal Affairs – NCRA and Mary Gbloh Principal Legal, Litigation and Sanctions – FIU.
© IEC DIRECTORATE.