|The challenged aspect for civil society is to increase knowledge in
the area of effect of transnational organized crimes - Adama Coulibaly, GIABA DG (Photo: GIABA Secretariat).|
Money laundering and financing of terrorism have been outlawed in The Gambia, but the country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice said the twin crimes have the potential to increase criminal activities.
“They have the potentials to fuel more crimes and cause serious consequences on the political, social and economic developments of nations,” Abubacarr Tambadou said on Monday at a sensitization for civil society organizations on anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
He said the fight against these crimes requires concerted, coordinated, corporative and collaborative efforts by all stakeholders with distinct but complimentary role.
Tambadou said civil society, who are found almost everywhere and are involved in nearly everything, are a critical component of a country’s governance system.
The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) is sensitizing CSOs on AML/CFT requirements in Banjul, The Gambia from July 24-26.
Gambia’s finance minister, Amadou Sanneh, said money laundering, terrorism and terrorism financing would be better tackled when there is proper awareness among CSOs.
He said CSOs increasingly employ extensive networks to pursue their activities and to try to influence policies on a broad range of issues. This influence expands to citizens, legislators and governments.
“Our societies have become less critical of the means of wealth creation and acquisition,” he said. “These and other attitudes could place individuals within our societies at great risk of corruption by unscrupulous persons, gangs and criminal organisations.”
Col. Adama Coulibaly, Director General, GIABA, said in addition to its work in the areas of peace, security and justice, civil society must now pay specific attention to AML/CFT.
“Everything is inter-dependent and inter-related, from democratic governance to the global economic architectural reform, and from crime control and prevention to societal development in general,” he said.
He also said the challenged aspect for civil society is to increase knowledge in the area of effect of transnational organized crimes.
“As non-state actors, you must work closely with all stakeholders to beam your searchlight to these other areas, and together we can build a peaceful and prosperous West Africa.”
West Africa’s anti-money laundering agency, GIABA, said it welcomes the idea of most of the member states prioritizing the national AML/CFT strategy with clear roles for civil society.
The Gambia event is the 5th after Dakar, Abidjan, Lagos, and Cotonou hosted similar forums for the sub-region’s civil society organizations.
Written by Modou S. Joof
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