ADDIS ABABA, March 13 (Xinhua) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday urged the European Union (EU) to remove Ethiopia from the list of high-risk third countries with weak anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regimes.
Ahmed, in a statement issued by his office on Wednesday, made the “urgent call” as the European Commission published the updated version of high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their national anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism regimes, which also included the East African country.
The statement from the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s Office, which noted the various measures that have been introduced by the Ethiopian government since the new administration took office in April last year, urged the commission to consider removing Ethiopia from the list.
“We urge the European Commission to consider removing Ethiopia from the list of high-risk third countries taking into account corrective measures that have been implemented; our proven commitment to combat terrorism and money laundering; and the limitations of the report in the first place,” the statement read.
It also stressed that the Ethiopian government is taking important steps to effectively prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
“Reaffirming its commitment to fully address this challenge, the government has introduced sweeping changes to the financial and judicial systems to respond to strategic deficiencies, especially evident due to Ethiopia’s geopolitical position in the Horn,” the statement read.
The office, however, said that Ethiopia is vulnerable to bank frauds, cyber-crime and money laundering effectuated by transnational criminals.
“Therefore, the new administration has been strictly controlling and monitoring informal value transfer networks and operations, and has implemented stringent financial sanctions against perpetrators,” the office said.