Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sierra Leone: Youths vow to fight against money laundering

Cross section of participants at the GIABA Open House Forum in Freetown, Sierra Leone (Photo Credit: GIABA)
Youths in Sierra Leone have pledged their commitment to the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, corruption, and transnational organised crimes, according to GIABA, an inter-governmental agency fighting against the same crimes in West Africa.

It pledge followed an Open House Forum for Youths in that country on the theme “Mobilising   the Youths against Organized Crimes” facilitated by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA).

The July 25 forum, attended by 160 young people from tertiary institutions, youth coalition groups and the media in Sierra Leone, culminated in a communiqué in which the youths resolved “to assiduously become advocates of a corrupt-free society”.

They agreed that “It is important that youths become vanguards in the entrenchment of good governance by campaigning against money laundering and its predicate offences.”

According to an August 7 GIABA statement, the youths expressed their readiness to collaborate with national agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission, Transnational Organized Crime Unit of the Sierra Leone Police and the  Sierra Leone Financial Intelligence Unit in their resolve “to rid the country of economic and financial crimes”.   

GIABA said the Freetown forum was intended to provide a platform for the youths to embark on advocacy and help disseminate Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) messages among their peers and political decision-makers.

It was also meant to hone the youths into becoming important policy advocates.
Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, Director General of GIABA, highlighted the need to draft the youths in the fight against money laundering and its predicate offences.

Speaking through GIABA’s Director of Programmes and Projects, Dr. ‘Buno Nduka, Dr. Shehu explained that in most cases youths have been used in perpetrating crimes leading to money laundering.  

“The crime of money laundering can only be committed when other crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution, corruption or other forms of organised crimes have been successfully carried out,” he said.

Also, Dr Shehu noted that all efforts aimed at curbing money laundering should also aim at   eradicating the predicate offences mentioned above.

Written by Modou S. Joof
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