Sierra Leone is a member of the GIABA. This evaluation was conducted by the World Bank and was then discussed and adopted by the Plenary of the GIABA as a 1st mutual evaluation on 12th June 2007

An assessment of the anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime of Sierra Leone was conducted based on the Forty Recommendations 2003 and the Nine Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing 2001 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and prepared using the AML/CFT Methodology 2004. The assessment considered the laws, regulations and other materials supplied by the authorities, and information obtained by the assessment team during its mission from May 29-June 13, 2006. During the mission, the assessment team met with officials and representatives of all relevant government agencies and the private sector. A list of the agencies met is set out in Annex 1 to the detailed assessment report.

The eleventh follow-up report of Sierra Leone describes actions taken by the country to rectify the remaining deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime since the submission of its tenth follow-up report to the Secretariat in May 2014.

The following actions were taken by Sierra Leone:

  • Ratification of the Palermo Convention;
  • Commencement of the National Risk Assessment;
  • Delivery of training on AML/CFT compliance to commercial banks by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU);
  • Strengthening AML/CFT supervision of reporting entities;
  • Development of the national anti-corruption strategy and the reform of public financial management;
  • The FIU conducted an exploratory discussion with the regulatory body for the accountancy profession; and
  • The FIU enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the country’s leading telecommunication company, Airtel (SL) Limited, for the purpose of carrying out AML sensitisation.

The tenth follow-up report of Sierra Leone was submitted to the Secretariat on 27 February 2014, for presentation at the May 2014 Plenary. This paper contains descriptions and analysis of actions taken by Sierra Leone between November 2013 and February 2014, as indicated in the tenth follow up report submitted by the country. 

Sierra Leone submitted its ninth follow-up report together with supporting documents to the Secretariat in October, 2013 for presentation at the November, 2013 Plenary. The analysis and conclusions in this report are based on the follow-up report and documents submitted by Sierra Leone.

The Seventh Mutual Evaluation Follow-Up report presented by Sierra Leone at the 18th plenary session of GIABA in December 2012, ignited concerns among the International Community on the lack of progress in the AML/CFT regime since the previous report. The Plenary therefore recommended among other things a visit to Sierra Leone by a Special Mission to raise the concerns of the International Community with the authorities in Sierra Leone. As recommended, a special GIABA Mission visited Sierra Leone from 21st -23rd January 2013 and held several discussions with various stakeholders. Following the visit of the mission, their was a renewed commitment on the part of Government and key stakeholders to take action in ensuring that the Financial Intelligence Unit is fully constituted and effective. Notable among the actions taken includes the Appointment and confirmation of the Director of the FIU pursuant to section 7 (1) (2) of the AML/CFT Act, 2012.

With the enactment of the AML/CFT Act, 2012, which to a large extent addresses the deficiencies in the AML/CFT regime, Sierra Leone made a case at the 17th Plenary for GIABA to rescind its decision regarding the public statement issued on the country’s non-compliance with key recommendations. Whilst the new Act strengthened the legal framework for the  fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, a lot more needs to be accomplished in order to ensure that Sierra Leone comply in considerable measure with the FATF recommendations. The Seventh Follow-up report is being presented in line with the requirements of the enhanced follow-up process, and highlights key developments since the last plenary.

This is the 5th Follow Up Report of Sierra Leone as presented to the Plenary in November 2011. It provides a further update on the measures Sierra Leone has taken since its last follow‐up report in December 2010 to address the deficiencies identified in its mutual evaluation report adopted in June 2007. The country has been placed on the Enhanced Follow‐Up process and will submit a 6th follow ‐up report in May 2012

 This is the 4th  Follow Up report of Sierra Leone as presented to the Plenary in December 2010. It provides further update on the measures Sierra Leone has taken since its last follow-up report in May 2010 to address the deficiencies identified in its Mutual Evaluation Report adopted in June 2008. The country has been placed on the enhanced follow-up process and will submit a 5th  Follow-Up report in May 2011.

The Anti-Money Laundering Act 2005 has been revised to take into account the weaknesses highlighted in the Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) report. The key strengths of the draft AML/CFT Bill include, among other things, the criminalization of money laundering and terrorism financing, extension of the powers for freezing order from 72 hours to ten (10)  working days, strengthening the powers and functions of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), provision of proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for discuss the draft AML/CFT Bill

Following deliberations of the Plenary, it was observed that there were delays in implementing the recommendations of the MER due in part to the conduct of national elections and the subsequent change of Government in the country. Member States expressed the need to assist Sierra Leone in her efforts to expedite the implementation of the MER  recommendations. Sierra Leone was given a time frame of six (6) months to conclude concrete and practical issues that will enhance the  implementation of the recommendations.  In August 2008, the Director-General of GIABA made a follow-up visit to Sierra Leone and discussed with members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on money laundering progress

In June 2007, the Deputy Governor requested for Technical Assistance (TA) from the IMF in response to the recommendations of the Assessment Report of the World Bank on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of  Terrorism (AML/CFT). The TA Mission from the Legal Department of the IMF reviewed the AML Act 2005 to address its inadequacies and to also incorporate provisions for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.  The draft revised Act, which is to be known as “The Anti-Money Laundering and Suppression of Financing of Terrorism Act is under discussion and is expected to be finalised and received this 2008.