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Cablegate: Mali Creates Unit for Countering Terrorist

VZCZCXRO6182
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHBP #0821 2751415
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011415Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAMAKO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9673
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAMAKO 000821

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KTFN SNAR PTER ML
SUBJECT: MALI CREATES UNIT FOR COUNTERING TERRORIST
FINANCING AND MONEY LAUNDERING

REF: BAMAKO 00695

1. On September 25 the Embassy met with former Minister of
Housing Modibo Sylla and Customs Inspector Seydou Diawara to
discuss Mali's newly created financial information unit
(CNTIF). The CNTIF was created in May 2008 to comply with
requirements of the West African Monetary Union (UEMOA) and
strengthen Mali's ability to block terrorist financing and
money laundering. The CNTIF falls under the Ministry of
Finance and is composed of six members including one
representative from customs and immigration, two members of
the national police, one gendarme, a judge responsible for
financial crimes, and a representative from the Central Bank
of West African States (BCEAO).

2. Former Minister Sylla is the CNTIF's president. Diawara
is the CNTIF's customs representative and also the Ministry
of Finance's representative to Mali's newly created
Inter-ministerial Commission Against Terrorism (reftel), to
which the CNTIF reports. The Commission's first meeting was
supposedly set for August but Diawara indicated that the
first meeting would not actually occur until October. An
official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs subsequently
confirmed that the Commission's first meeting is now set for
the first week of October.

3. Sylla said the CNTIF would work closely with local banks
and that financial institutions and travel agencies in Mali
were required to report any suspicious transactions to the
CNTIF. He also said the CNTIF hoped to make inroads into the
informal sector of financial transfers but noted that the
Malian government currently has very little information to go
on. For this reason, the CNTIF intends to conduct a number
of studies in order to formulate concrete recommendations
regarding ways to block the financing of terrorism and money
laundering. Sylla also asked whether the U.S. could provide
any training for CNTIF personnel. Diawara reported that his
colleagues in Senegal had participated in a U.S. Department
of Treasury sponsored training on money laundering and asked
if similar opportunities were available for Mali.
LEONARD

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