22 Feb 2006

World Bank prepared to offer Fiji technical assistance to combat money laundering

4:21 pm on 22 February 2006

The government of Fiji is likely to receive assistance in its efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

A team from the World Bank is in Suva to assess the state of the country's financial institutions, which includes whether they're complying with recently enacted legislation regarding suspicious transactions.

The head of its banking business group in Washington, Latifa Merican-Cheong, says the team is there at the invitation of the Fiji government which can use the analysis to see where the gaps are, and what needs to be done.

Ms Merican-Cheong says once the shortcomings are identified, the World Bank will be willing to provide help.

"In the case of anti-money laundering, we provide assistance in all aspects from the legal framework, the regulatory framework for the financial institutions, and the setting up of the Financial Intelligence Unit."

Ms Merican-Cheong says they can also assist with aspects of law enforcement and educational awareness programmes.