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Senegal - Corruption

Senegal now ranks 61 out of 167 countries (the 167th being perceived as the most corrupted). In 2012, Senegal was 94th. According to the Report, Senegal is among countries where the situation improved during last years. « Greece, Senegal, and the U-K are part of the countries that have experienced a significant improvement of their scores since 2012 ».

Thus, the Report highlighted : « Overall a number of countries have all improved (in the areas covered by the index) in recent years, notably Senegal, which has risen significantly since the government introduced a series of anti-corruption measures ».

Senegal’s 30-year-long conflict in the Casamance has become a stalemate — a debilitating condition of neither war nor peace that is being fueled by a “war economy” interlinked with a variety of illicit actors, most of whom are not Senegalese. The “war economy” in the Casamance created incentives that are a major impediment to the peace process. Illicit activities include marijuana cultivation and illegal logging, with the logs and the marijuana being exported out through Gambia, and the laundering of money from the transshipment of cocaine through Guinea-Bissau to Europe.

In 2006 President Wade called for resuming investigation of cases of mismanagement involving both Alliance des Force de Progres presidential candidate Moustapha Niasse and Socialist MP Ousmane Tanor Dieng. Niasse, who before becoming Wade's Prime Minister from 2000-2001 was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1991 to 1998, is accused of participating in selling diplomatic passports to businessmen and others from mainland China. Tanor, who served as ex-President Diouf's Cabinet Director, was allegedly involved in secretly selling fishing licenses to Russian ship owners on behalf of the GOS to replenish Socialist political coffers.

Since taking office in 2012, President Macky Sall has emphasized his commitment to fighting corruption, increasing transparency and promoting good governance. He reactivated the Court of Repossession of Illegally Acquired Assets to investigate corruption by former government officials. Sall also created new institutions such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission (OFNAC) and procedures to require asset declarations from public officials. OFNAC is composed of twelve members appointed by decree with a mission to fight corruption, embezzlement of public funds and fraud. The government of Senegal has also taken steps to increase budget transparency in line with regional standards. Senegal ranked 61th out of 168 countries, in Transparency International's 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), representing a substantial increase over Senegal's 99th place ranking in 2011.

Notwithstanding Senegal's positive reputation for corruption relative to regional peers, investors continue to report corruption as an issue at lower levels of the bureaucracy where officials with modest salaries may demand “tips” for advancing permits and other official paperwork. It is important for U.S. companies to assess corruption risks and develop an effective compliance program or measures to prevent and detect corruption, including foreign bribery. U.S. firms operating in Senegal can underscore to interlocutors in Senegal that they are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the U.S. and may consider seeking legal counsel to ensure compliance with anti-corruption laws in the U.S. and Senegal.

Senegal's financial intelligence unit, Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF) is responsible for investigating money laundering and terrorist financing. CENTIF has broad authority to investigate suspicious financial transactions, including those of government officials.

Senegal is vulnerable to the activities of organized crime, drug trafficking, internet fraud, bank and deposit fraud, document forgery, and Ponzi schemes. Corruption remains pervasive at many levels of government and commerce. Most money laundering activities involve bank transfers to offshore accounts in tax havens, or the purchase of high-end real estate by foreign officials. Major sources of laundered proceeds are corrupt politicians and drug transactions. Foreign government officials, as well as private persons, launder money through the purchase of highend property or transferring illicit funds through Senegalese bank accounts to offshore tax havens.

The Government of Senegal has made incremental progress in strengthening its capacity for prevention and investigation of financial crimes. Open issues to address include training law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges to investigate and prosecute money laundering. Recommendations for improvement include drafting and enacting a civil forfeiture law allowing assets to be seized in the absence of criminal charges. Senegal needs legislation on the management of seized property to hold an auction to sell the property or have a storage area to safeguard the property until a decision can be reached as to its status.

Real estate transactions are conducted in cash, and as a result the construction industry is reputed to be a popular sector for laundering illicit funds. The continued building boom and high property prices also suggested that this sector remained vulnerable to money laundering. Ownership and transfer of property is not transparent.

Other areas of concern include the transportation of cash, gold, and other items of value through Senegal’s airport and across its porous borders. The widespread use of cash; money transfer services, including informal channels (hawaladars); and new payment methods also contributes to money laundering vulnerabilities. Mobile payment systems such as Wari, JoniJoni, and Western Union cater to the needs of the unbanked Senegalese but are not always subject to enforcement of controls due primarily to resource constraints. The same applies to money transfer organizations.

Senegal’s location and transportation infrastructure make it an appealing transit point for drug traffickers moving illegal drugs into Europe and across West Africa. Cocaine is trafficked into Senegal by land and sea from neighboring countries including Guinea-Bissau and Mali, then on to Europe by sea and air. Cannabis is cultivated in the southern Casamance region for local use and to supply markets across West Africa, and methamphetamine is transported into Senegal from Nigeria.

In 2016, there were continued seizures by Senegalese law enforcement authorities of the Catha Edulis (khat) plant as well as multi-ton quantities of marijuana. The seizures of khat decreased during the latter part of 2016, and there has been some resistance to pursuing criminal cases by Senegalese authorities. Khat contains cathinone, a Schedule I substance under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.

The mayor of Senegal's capital Dakar, Khalifa Sall, was charged with embezzlement of public funds and placed in custody on 08 March 2017. Sall, who has run the city since 2009 and had been seen as a possible presidential candidate, was charged with fraud involving public funds, misappropriation of public funds, criminal conspiracy and money laundering. Sall, a rebel member of the Socialist Party, part of the country's ruling coalition, who had been seen as a probable contender in the 2019 presidential elections, claimed a plot may be under way to remove him from running.

Although Indian hemp is grown almost everywhere in Senegal, the "industrial" plantations are evidently found in Casamance (where this culture develops increasing insecurity ), in Siné Saloum (Djinak ) and in eastern Senegal (Kédougou area ). Senegalese rasta are not only a consumer. They are often a dealer and even more frequently a producer of yamba (the local name for cannabis). The rural way of life, withdrawn from the world suits him perfectly. Cultivator of cannabis in Casamance in the Diouloulou sector, close to the Gambian border, that the bulk of production comes (between 300 and 500 tons per year). The armed rebellion , which finds a part of its revenues, defends tooth and nail those hundreds of islands and islands difficult to reach where only the Senegalese army dares to penetrate from time to time.

Tourism allows the rasta, who usually hate work, to earn money without getting too tired and without investment. Before sex tourism develops, Rasta could only survive during the summer, the only period of the year when young tourists and students could spend two months in Africa. It was rare 10 or 15 years ago to see these thousands of old European banners, bachelors, widows or deceived come to spend the holidays of Easter in Saly. The democratization of exotic travel has created new opportunities for easy gains for the Senegalese rastaman.

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