By Hilary Mare
THE central bank has warned that the Financial Intelligence Act, (Act No.13 of 2012) as amended now requires every person bringing into or taking out of Namibia (even by mail, courier or telegram) any money or bearer negotiable instrument to declare such money or bearer negotiable instruments.
Bearer Negotiable Instruments includes for example cash cheques, bearer share certificates, promissory notes, traveller’s cheques, money orders or any cards that can be loaded with money, (except credit and debit cards) with a value of N$100 000.00 or more (regardless of the currency involved) .
Emma Haiyambo, director strategic communications and financial sector development at the Bank of Namibia highlighted that stiff penalties have been imposed on persons who do not abide by this directive concerning declaration of cross border movement of cash and bearer negotiable instruments in terms of section 36 of the Financial Intelligence Act. “Failure to declare or falsely declaring such reportable cash or bearer negotiable instruments, constitutes a criminal offense which could result in a fine of up to N$100 million or imprisonment for up to 30 years or to both such fine and imprisonment. All money and bearer negotiable instruments not declared or falsely declared, can also be confiscated and forfeited to the state,” Haiyambo stated.
Elaborating that members of the public who experience any unfair treatment or victimisation or are requested to pay a bribe whilst making a declaration must immediately report this to the Financial Intelligence Centre. Haiyambo clarified that declarations of money or bearer negotiable instruments can be made at any port of entry further elaborating that individuals must obtain acknowledgement receipts showing which would stand as proof that they have declared.
“Declaration of these monies or bearer negotiable instruments must be made on the prescribed form which can be found at any border post, sea port, and international airport or at Nampost. Once completed, the form should be presented to an officer of Customs and Excise at the port of entry into or departure from Namibia; or to a designated officer of the Post Office. Once the declaration has been made, the individual will be issued with an acknowledgement of receipt, which can be retained as proof that a declaration has been made,” further stated Haiyambo.
The overall objective of the Department of strategic communications and financial sector development at the Bank of Namibia is to provide strategic communication and coordination services in supporting the operation of the Bank. This entails stakeholder engagement and issue management, information dissemination and management service as well as managing corporate social investment and responsibility activities. The department is also charged with the coordination, advocating and the implementation of the financial sector development strategies.
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