Addis Ababa ENA August10/2019
Measures that make offenders accountable and block the channels of
illicit financial flow are essential to control this alarming national
threat, Revenues Minister Adanech Abeebee said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, the minister said illicit financial flow has become an additional threat to the shortage of foreign currency in Ethiopia. Therfore, channels of illicit financial flow should be identified and blocked in an organized manner.
Working on sources and receivers of black market is critical in order to sustainably combat the devastating trend in the country, Adanech stated.
She added that once the channels are identified and public awareness created, practical measures should be taken to overcome the challenge.
Appropriate measures should then be taken on offenders as soon as possible, the minister pointed out, adding that “the issue of black market and illicit financial flow cannot be resolved only by creating awareness. Thus, all justice related institutions have to be more transparent and responsible to apprehend and punish the illegal actors.”
Though the government has been taking actions diverse measures to discourage illicit financial flow, the offenders are only minimally penalized, she complained.
Nation Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) Governor, Yinager Dessie said illicit financial inflow and outflow of foreign currency are the major challenges the county has been facing. This problem is a national setback, which is not to be left to a single institution or ministry, he noted.
Stressing the importance of giving attention to blocking illicit financial flow channels, he said administrative measures are needed to resolve such drastic problems in a sustainable manner.
“Without setting appropriate directions and taking measures based on studies and supporting them with integrated administration and policy, we cannot achieve the targets by working only at the cross-borders,” Yinager noted.
Evaluating the existing rules and regulations and revising them based on researches and studies are crucial not only to rescue foreign currency but also revive foreign trade, the governor underscored.
According to the study entitled “Illicit Financial Flows in Ethiopia” released by Transparency International in September 2018, an estimated average of USD 1.3 billion to USD 3.2 billion has left Ethiopia in the form of illicit financial flow every year. The study covered the years 2005 to 2014.
This figure accounts for up to 29% of the country’s total international trade or 97% of the total aid inflow.