FIU puts brakes on Lonestar’s new mobile money service

7 Sep 2020

According to Front Page Africa, Liberia’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has ‘with immediate effect’ instructed domestic mobile operator Lonestar Cell-MTN to stop offering its new mobile money International Remittance Service suggesting it ‘poses huge threats to countering money laundering and terrorist financing in Liberia’. In a letter to the company dated 2 September, the FIU stated that having reviewed the details of the cellco’s new product, it concluded that ‘the company lacks the capacity to detect and report incidence of money laundering and terrorist financing activities’. The letter reportedly states: ‘After review of the risk assessment document presented by the Lonestar MTN Mobile Money management, it was observed that the product among other things could provide easy means for criminals exploiting the financial system of Liberia using the international remittance service of the Lonestar MTN Mobile Money platform to continue unobserved.’

Liberia, Lonestar Cell-MTN