Assessing the effectiveness of legal and
policy responses to ght Money Laundering
Great Lakes Center for Human Rights and Development, Kigali, Rwanda
Purpose – This paper aims to assess the extent to which Rwanda is prepared to deal with the menace
of money laundering, a threat that may well stunt its ambitions to build a strong economy.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper used desktop research based on primary and
secondary sources. It is based on a review of relevant conventions laws and policies constituting the
anti-money laundering legal regime.
Findings – Rwanda’s responses are not strong enough to curb the ever growing risk of money
laundering. Rwandan economic structure may easily accommodate launderers, given the development
policies relating to investments positive political will may help to pre-empt the increase in the crime.
Originality/value – Neither academic, editorial or any work whatsoever have been conducted
regarding Money Laundering in Rwanda nor has the prosecution ever submitted a case in the courts at
least to pave the prosecutorial strategy in the cases of money laundering. This work is of its own and has
been reviewed by well-known professors in the domain, namely, Prof Lovell Fernandez, the Director of
South African Germany Center for Transnational Criminal Justice.
Keywords Money laundering, Rwanda
Paper type Research paper
Throughout the world, crime is an important social and economic issue (David and
McCrary, 2005) For criminals, it is a source of their livelihood. Criminals prefer to ply
their trade in emerging economies, mainly in developing countries. Such young,
burgeoning economies need foreign investment, regardless of the source of the foreign
However, the competition amongst developing democracies for investments from
abroad has also resulted in turning them into platforms where the proceeds of economic
crimes are laundered and then integrated lawfully in the country of origin.
Countries undergoing political transition are favoured by money launderers because
of their proneness to corruption, fragile institutions of governance and manipulable
economies (Santha, 2007). It is assumed that at least between 2 and 5 per cent of the
global gross domestic product (GDP) is laundered every year (KPMG, 2014).
This chapter focuses on the facts and dimensions of money laundering in Rwanda, a
small country in the African Great Lakes region, and explains why Rwanda requires
strict anti-money laundering (AML) laws.
2. The state of money laundering in Rwanda
In Rwanda, money laundering constitutes one of the least investigated risk areas. The
dearth of research and literature on this crime makes it hard to determine its extent in
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of legal and
Journalof Money Laundering
Vol.19 No. 1, 2016
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