US report on money laundering creticized [Archives:2007/1068/Local News]

July 16 2007

Moneer Al-Omari
SANA'A, July 15 ) Reacting to a report released recently by the US Department of Treasury and concerned with the money laundering, the Head of the Anti-money Laundering Committee at the Central Bank of Yemen Ahmed Ghaleb assured that Yemen is not a center for money laundering or financing terrorism, hinting that the American report is inauthentic.

Ghaleb noted that the information upon which the US Department of Treasury relied while preparing the report is not correct as Yemen is not a regional or international financial center and it has a limited economy.

He added that all money transfers and orders are observed by the concerned authorities within the frame of laws that control the mobility of capitals, stressing that Yemen is not a suitable environment for money laundering.

Meanwhile, the Anti-corruption Committee announced, by the end of the last month, that it had finished the preparation of a united law draft on money laundering, drugs, and crime in collaboration with international experts.

Ghaleb noted that an American team of seven members, which represents the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Justice and Finance Ministries, visited Yemen last year and paid field visits to all Yemeni financial institutions ; however, it issued no report at that time, which is a positive sign according to Ghaleb.

He further noted that any embezzlement issues do not come under money laundering, but rather corruption issues and to be resolved by the judiciary.

A report by the Treasury Department named Yemen as a center for money laundering and terrorism funding in the area. It noted that law enforcement agencies encountered common patterns and concentrations of Informal Value Transfer System, known as IVTS, directed at areas with non-existent, unaffordable or untrustworthy financial institutions.

Moreover, the report recorded different shapes for making money laundering and this includes opening fake bank accounts under commercial names, cash deposits, as well as money orders made in exchange institutions and away from the observance of the Central Bank.

The American government directed a harsh criticism to the Yemeni government as it does not enact the role of units concerned with combating money-laundering, particularly when these units lack in a data base.

Different national and international reports criticized the embezzlements and corruption rampant in government sectors especially in taxes, oil, and customs sectors.

US Dollar to raise against Yemeni Riyal

Different national and international observers of Yemeni market assured that the US Dollar value will raise against the Yemeni Riyal. In addition, it is expected that a US Dollar will increase to YR 207 by the end of this year.

Yemeni reserves of hard currency are limited and primarily stocked through oil resources, something that is not secure and depleted. The volume of other sources for hard currency as expatriates' transmissions represents a very small percentage of income sources.

However, the Central Bank assures that it follows a certain policy based on supply and demand, and interferes at the due time to prevent any increase of US Dollar value against the Yemeni Riyal.