Jan 17, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) set up under the Central Bank to combat money laundering and terrorist financing should be more independent, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. Sri Lankan authorities should ensure that the FIU should be given operational independence to ensure freedom from undue influence or interference,” the IMF said in a report on the island’s mechanisms for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.
The FIU should be provided with adequate and suitable training for staff in combating money laundering and terrorism financing and in financial analysis, it said.
The unit should formulate effective guidelines on reporting and identifying suspicious transactions and maintain comprehensive statistics on cash and suspicious transactions.
It should be able to secure extra funding to expand its resources when necessary in order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency; the IMF said.
The FIU became operational in June 2006 shortly after a crackdown by the financial authorities on a pyramid scam.
The scam duped several hundreds of people out of their money and prompted the Central Bank to launch a public awareness campaign against s