The Parliament of Sierra Leone has enacted the “Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Financing of Terrorism and Financing The Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act, 2024” on Tuesday, 16th April 2024.

The legislation aims to transform the country’s approach to combating financial crimes and strengthening its national security framework.

A cornerstone of the new law is the establishment of the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), which will replace the existing Financial Intelligence Unit. The FIA will operate as an autonomous and independent body, serving as the national central authority responsible for receiving, analyzing, and disseminating financial information.

This transformation is expected to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Sierra Leone’s efforts in combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Bill underwent rigorous scrutiny and consultation processes before its enactment. It was debated extensively, and its various provisions were thoroughly examined to ensure they align with Sierra Leone’s legal and security objectives. The Report of the Legislative Committee, presented by its Chairman, Hon. Abdul Sulaiman Marray-Conteh, played a pivotal role in guiding the legislative process.

Speaking to the Plenary, Chairman Marray-Conteh emphasized that the Committee’s report reflected the consensus of its membership. The comprehensive report provided detailed explanations of the amendments made to different parts, clauses, and provisions of the Bill. It covered various aspects such as the composition, administration, definitions, penalties, fines, and other relevant contents, ensuring that the legislation is both robust and comprehensive.

The enactment of this Act signifies Sierra Leone’s commitment to aligning its financial regulations with international standards and best practices. By criminalizing money laundering, terrorism financing, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Sierra Leone aims to protect its financial system from abuse and safeguard its national security.

Deputy Minister of Finance I, Kadiatu Allie, piloted the Bill through its legislative journey, highlighting its importance for the country’s economic development and security. Minister Allie underscored the significance of the new law in enhancing Sierra Leone’s reputation as a responsible member of the global community.