Money laundering said to be contributing to the cedi depreciation
7/20/2012 12:03:49 PM -
A Principal Consultant with the National Banking College, Richmond Akwasi Atuahene says the recent fall in the value of the cedi could also be partly blamed on the spate of money laundering activities in the financial system.
According to him, this calls for stronger due-diligence in trade-financing transactions by banks whilst enforcing the relevant laws.
Mr. Atuahene spoke to JOY BUSINESS on the lessons Ghana could draw from the indictment of Europe's largest bank, HSBC as laundering money around the world due to lax controls.
He first outlined some practices in the country that constitute money laundering.
'There is what we call International Trade-based Money Laundering. Here, we can have what is termed fathom-trade in that people would purport to have exported goods to Ghana and present documents to their bankers and get paid where as no goods would arrive in the country' he said.
'The other practice is that, people are doing over-invoicing where they import say one thousand cedi equipment and they inflate it to twenty thousand and they take the documents to banks who then pay under the pretext that they banks deal in documents rather than goods' he noted.
He further explained how some importers are laundering money to contribute to the cedi's depreciation.
'For instance one imports ten thousand dollar worth of goods into Ghana and inadvertently brought only five thousand but I managed to get equivalent of the cedis. He must have not supplied ten thousand but only the five thousand. He's however able to get documents covering the ten thousand which he deposits at the bank at the cedi-dollar rate. This accelerates the demand on the cedi because its price would be affected by the demand-supply theory' he explained.