Somali Government concern on remittance closing and pirate situation

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Council of Ministers meeting chaired by Her Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Fowziya Yusuf Haji Adam today expressed their concern of the international banking system tightening regulations on the Somali small money-transfer companies. The council called on Barclays Bank and other International banks to maintain the legal remittance system, which is a lifeline for many in Somali and around Horn of Africa.

“We are deeply concerned the situation of the money transfer business, which is the main source of income to millions of people and contributes a significant percentage to the regional economy. Stopping diaspora support system will have a negative impact to the livelihood of the Somali community and other similar communities around the region,” Deputy Prime Minister said. She also stated that the Somali government is doing everything possible to guarantee the continuity of this family support system.

Barclays Bank recently announced its decision to close the accounts of some of its money service businesses. A decision based to minimise the risk of falling foul of money-laundering regulations. The move will cut an estimated $162 million transfer of funds only from Somalis in the UK to Horn of Africa. The Somali government strongly believes that small money transfer agencies have zero contribution to money laundering and present no risk to the international banking system. These agencies deal with small amounts of money sent between relatives and families.

The Council of Ministers also discussed the situation of the Somali coast pirates acknowledging progress on securing of the Somali coast. The Chairman of the Somali Anti-Piracy Task Force, Muhiyadin Ali Yusuf reported to the council that there were no single ship hijacked for more than 15 months off the Somali coast and the coastal security situation has improved. He stated that Illegal fishing is the root cause of the Somali piracy and recommended the Somali government and its international partners to address the issue of illegal fishing.

“There should be an international legal fame work to prosecute illegal fishers on the Somali cost that is very important to stop piracy business,” Muhiyadin said. He noted Anti-piracy resource allocations put Somalia on the back seat and that makes the county the least invested in the region, which is totally counter-productive in the fight against Somali coastal pirates.