Mozambique: Approval of the strategy against money laundering

The Mozambican government has approved the Strategy to Prevent and Combat Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Nuclear Proliferation (2023-2027), a document that aims to monitor the effectiveness of national coordination and cooperation actions international.

Speaking to reporters on August 23, after the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), government spokesman, Deputy Justice Minister Filimao Suaze said that “the strategy aims to build and maintaining a strong Mozambican financial system through

the adoption of effective measures to prevent and suppress acts of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as the effective implementation of international normative standards”.

Suaze said recent statements by President Filipe Nyusi should mobilize all Mozambicans to be vigilant in all financial transactions carried out in the country.

On August 22, in the central city of Beira, during a meeting with the bodies of the Council of State Representative Services and the Provincial Executive Council, President Nyusi warned that some owners of fuel pumps were using these companies to finance jihadist terrorists operating in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

President Nyusi felt that there were strong signs of money laundering in the retail fuel sector and demanded that corrective action be taken.

President Nyusi did not name any particular fuel operator. According to the newspaper “Carta de Mocambique”, the problem has its roots in the “extreme liberalisation” of retail, which dates back to 2015-2016. Pricing mechanisms have been relaxed and profit margins for fuel distributors and retailers have been increased, making the business very attractive.

Licensing has been facilitated, and as a result there are now around 40 licensed fuel retailers in Mozambique, although only 15 are active (compared to just eight retailers in South Africa). But in addition to these retailers, any citizen can open a service station, provided they have a supply contract with one of the authorized distributors.

“Carta de Mocambique” fears that with this liberalization, the Mozambican state has almost lost control. There has been a proliferation of fuel pumps along the Beira Road in Zimbabwe, many owned by foreign citizens including Somalis, Tanzanians and Chinese. The newspaper notes that no one knows – at least publicly – how these new gas stations are financed.

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