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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07DAKAR309
2007-02-07 08:49:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Dakar
Cable title:  

SENEGAL'S FIU (CENTIF) LAUNCHES NEW OUTREACH PROGRAM TO

Tags:   EFIN  PTER  ECON  EAID  PINR  KCRM  SG 
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VZCZCXRO0246
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #0309/01 0380849
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 070849Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7522
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 1993
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 0096
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAKAR 000309 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL, AF/RSA, AF/EPS, AF/W AND EB/ESC/TFS
STATE ALSO FOR S/CT, INR/AA AND INR/B
TREASURY FOR OTA AND FINCEN
PARIS FOR POL - D'ELIA
PRETORIA FOR TREASURY ATTACHE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN PTER ECON EAID PINR KCRM SG
SUBJECT: SENEGAL'S FIU (CENTIF) LAUNCHES NEW OUTREACH PROGRAM TO
ENFORCE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LAWS; COUNTERTERRORISM LAW PASSED

DAKAR 00000309 001.2 OF 002




1. SUMMARY: NGouda Fall Kane, Director General of Senegal's
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) the CENTIF, presided over a
January 23 workshop, where he encouraged enhanced cooperation with
different partners including the country's notaries public to
strengthen the understanding and implementation of the West African
Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Uniform Law on Money Laundering
(UL). The participants included representatives from the Notaries'
Association, the Bar Association, the Accountants' Association, the
professional Bankers' Association, and senior officials from the
Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, the West African
Central Bank (BCEAO), customs, police, gendarmes, and
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The CENTIF plans to organize
a series of meetings with other correspondents to reinforce
cooperation and improve communication within the implementation
framework of the UL, with a view towards significantly improving
Senegal's anti-money laundering capabilities. On January 31, the
National Assembly adopted new counterterrorism legislation for which
we have been pressing. END SUMMARY.

ENHANCING A COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT


--------------------------




2. On January 23, Senegal's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the
CENTIF, organized and hosted a workshop covering issues on money
laundering and the implementation of the WAEMU Uniform Law on Money
Laundering. This was the first major effort by the CENTIF since its
establishment in August 2005 to publicly promote its role as one of
Senegal's key AML organs. NGouda Fall, Director General of the
CENTIF, highlighted for the participants that the workshop
represents a new strategy to enhance cooperation between CENTIF and
its partners.



3. Fall emphasized the urgent need to close the communication gap
between the different actors and to develop awareness program on the
2005 Uniform Law (UL). Fall stated that the UL must be applied to
banking and non-banking financial institutions alike, and also to
intermediaries such lawyers, accountants, notaries public, and
brokers/dealers. He pointed out that the law requires both
financial and non-financial institutions to report all suspicious
transactions as well as all transactions that involve at least 5
million CFA francs (CFAF) (approximately USD 10,000) to the CENTIF.
Fall expressed his appreciation for actions taken by some commercial
banks as well as Senegal's Customs Service that provided information
that allowed the CENTIF to initiate investigations on some
suspicious cases. For the notaries, who were the focus of this
workshop, Fall encouraged compliance with the UL, and, in
particular, to report real-estate transactions that involves at

least five million CFAF.



4. At the workshop, a representative of Bankers Association
explained that the majority of buildings under construction in Dakar
are funded outside of the formal banking sector, stating that "we
know the owners, but several of them have never applied for loans
from commercial banks." Participants noted with suspicion the large
gap between the huge amounts of CFAF spent on building construction
and the much smaller level of formal credit for housing disbursed by
the banks.



5. Ahmadou NDiaye, President of the Notaries' Association,
applauded the CENTIF's efforts to improve awareness and stated that
his organization is ready to fully cooperate with the CENTIF in any
suspicious transaction, including those involving the real-estate
market, as well as in the establishment of new enterprises --
another area of concern highlighted by the CENTIF. Ndiaye said that
Senegal's buoyant real-estate market could create opportunities to
recycle funds. In particular, the growing market for luxury
properties in upscale Dakar neighborhoods and at prime coastal
locations does not appear, in a cursory analysis, to match local
demand or financing flows from the formal sector. NDiaye urged his
members to develop "know your customer" principles and to fully
comply with the UL practices.

AN OPERATIONAL, BUT LIMITED FIU


--------------------------




6. The CENTIF has been operational since August 2005. Though the
new legislation largely meets international standards with respect
to money laundering, it neither includes terrorist financing nor
complies with all Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations
concerning politically exposed persons, and it lacks certain
compliance provision for non-financial institutions. Its three
objectives aim to develop awareness program, detect suspicious
transactions, and encourage international cooperation in money
laundering. The CENTIF has received technical assistance from the

DAKAR 00000309 002.2 OF 002


Office of Technical Assistance of the U.S. Department of Treasury
and the French Treasury. France is reportedly preparing to sponsor
Senegal's FIU for Egmont Group membership.



7. In 2006, the CENTIF received 48 suspicious transactions
declarations, and to date has referred six of these to the
Prosecutor General. All but two of the declarations have been made
by banks. The other two came from Senegal's Customs Service. The
FIU currently has a staff of 23, including six appointed members:
the President who by law is chosen from the Ministry of Finance and
five others detailed from the Customs Service, the BCEAO, the
Judicial Police, and the judiciary.



8. The CENTIF is an administrative-type FIU. It has full authority
to request and obtain information from any correspondent or
reporting entity whether it is public or private. It can enlist the
police or gendarmes for deepening investigations on suspicious
cases. It does not, at present, have regulatory responsibilities.
Director General Fall stated that the CENTIF plans to organize
similar workshops in 2007 targeting other non-financial players,
including the Accountants' Association, the Bar Association, and
Senegal's Customs Service.

NEW COUNTERTERRORISM LEGILSATION ADOPTED


--------------------------




9. On January 31, the National Assembly adopted a new law that will
grant increased powers to investigative authorities and allow up to
30 years in prison or a life term of hard labor for those convicted
on terrorism charges. Welcoming the legislation, Senior Minister
for Justice Cheikh Tidiane Sy explained that the "all states are
vulnerable to the proliferation and frequency of terrorist attacks,
which are being perpetrated by increasingly organized groups with
sophisticated methods."

COMMENT


--------------------------




10. There is no question that larges sums of money are flowing into
Senegal from private sources, much of which is buying concrete,
rebar, and high-end furnishings for the country's luxury residential
housing boom. Some of this money is no doubt from standard
remittances from overseas family members. Much of the rest is
widely assumed to be sourced from illicit and politically-derived
funds, both local and foreign. Senegal has made considerable
progress in establishing an operational FIU, and the CENTIF's new
outreach approach is an important enhancement of its role, leading,
we hope, to a marked improvement of Senegal's enforcement of
existing AML laws. However, even with a dedicated FIU, Senegal's
deteriorating political climate in light of the 2007 presidential
elections, and a generally non-transparent judiciary could retard
any efforts to take this progress to the next level of actual
prosecutions and convictions of money launderers. Senegal needs to
speed up reforms leading to greater transparency in the judicial,
financial, and real estate sectors.

BIOGRAPHIC NOTE - NGOUDA FALL KANE


--------------------------




10. Mr. NGouda Fall Kane, was appointed Director General of the
CENTIF in July 2004. He is a Senior Executive Treasury Inspector.
He graduated from the National School of Administration and Justice.
Born in 1952, Fall has 25 years of experience as a Tax Collection
Officer at the Treasury Department in the Ministry of Economy and
Finance. Fall is widely considered honest and hard-working, and is
well and favorably known within Senegal's financial community. Fall
has limited English.

Jacobs