The latest Alert from Enough’s partner, The Sentry, “Sudan’s Anti-Corruption Whitewash: The Bashir Regime’s Hollow Commitment to Combating Illicit Finance,” provides an expert-level technical assessment of Sudan’s current unwillingness and inability to sufficiently combat money laundering and terrorist financing during a time when Khartoum is desperate to expand its access to the international financial system.
The Sentry’s new analysis, supported by investigative research and a thorough review of all openly-available information, has found that the Sudanese government’s efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing are vastly inadequate. A comparison of the laws and policies in place in Sudan and the recommendations set forth by the Financial Action Task Force, the international body responsible for setting standards for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, shows that Sudan has taken limited steps forward but that critical gaps remain. This inadequacy creates tremendous risk for international financial institutions and businesses operating in Sudan, and the regime’s reluctance to implement sufficient anti-money laundering measures demonstrates an unwillingness to tackle its own rampant corruption.
Corruption and illicit financial activity have long been pillars of the violent kleptocratic system in Sudan. President Omar al-Bashir’s ruthless kleptocracy has undermined previously democratic institutions and processes through systematically cratering any semblance of checks and balances. The result is an autocratic system marked by widespread human rights violations and repression.
The laundering of the proceeds of financial crimes and grand corruption are major features of a kleptocracy. The kleptocratic system, in which leaders use their power to exploit the people and resources of their country for personal wealth, requires the ability to launder the proceeds of graft in order for those who are profiting to enjoy their ill-gotten gains. Kleptocrats use the same obfuscation techniques to move, launder, and hide their money as criminals and terrorists, and a country with weak anti-money laundering controls opens the gates for rampant abuse.
Click here to read the Alert.