On 6 July in Douala, the telecommunications company MTN Cameroon expressed its view on the suspension by the Central Bank since 19 June 2017 of transferring money from the Mobile Money outside the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Cemac), consisting of Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad.
Caroline Ekwalla, in charge of compliance with MTN, said that the BEAC measure is not addressed personally to MTN but to all banks in the Cemac zone. “MTN does not issue cash. We are not issuing currency, because we are not a bank. But we are the technical partners of a bank called Afriland First Bank. In the case of Orange, for example, it is the Bicec. And so, when the Governor of Beac wrote on June 19, he took a precautionary measure against the banks in the subregion, which have a license as an institution, “said Ms. Ekwalla . “The money flowing through MTN Mobile Money belongs to our partner Afriland First Bank,” added Melvin Akam, Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs.
Caroline Ekwalla added that the Beac will conduct its investigations but will realize that mobile phone companies like MTN are acting legally. “We joined the international plan with WorldRemit, which helps us make transfers from countries in the West. It means that capital is entering and not coming out, contrary to the rumor that we favor the escape of capital, “she said. In the area of money laundering, MTN Cameroon indicates that it uses the security protocols of its partner WolrdRemit. “When you want to transfer money through WolrdRemit, there are forms to fill out on the issuer, the receiver, the origin of the funds, and so on. If it is not done the transaction does not succeed. WorldRemit has a list of politically exposed persons made available by the UN that are reported when conducting an operation. So the risks of money laundering are minimized. Not to mention that there are thresholds of amount of money that can not be exceeded, “said the compliance officer.
As a reminder, on June 19, 2017, Beac wrote a letter to the banks of the Cemac which revealed suspicions about the illegal transfer of money by Mobile Money outside the subregion. “Mobile operators would in fact be the actual issuers of electronic money, manage them and would make international transfers. Such actions would then constitute a serious breach of spirit and the letter of the regulations regulating not only the activity of emission of the electronic money, but also the regulation of the exchange, “wrote the governor Abbas Mahamat Tolli.