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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

GIABA Trains Liberian Civil Groups and Media on Money Laundering

Money Laundering Threatens Financial Systems
…GIABA Boss Discloses

The Director General of the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) says money laundering and terrorist financing pose a real threat to the stability of financial systems in West Africa.

Delivering a keynote address at the start of a two-day sensitization workshop at a local hotel in Monrovia, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu said money laundering and terrorist financing can destroy economic development efforts.

Dr. Shehu observed that large-scale money laundering in West African financial systems may result in a systematic banking threat to the international financial system.

He told the participants that once money is laundered, it is immediately transferred to other countries, adding that bold actions should be taken by member states in order to avert this ugly situation.

He noted that GIABA was established to serve as a forum for regional alliance that will deal with money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa.

He called on the Liberian government to develop a framework that would control cash transactions in a bid to deal with money laundering and terrorist financing.

The workshop is being held under the theme: “Enlisting the Support of the Liberian Media, Civil Society Organizations and Professional Groups for GIABA’s Strategic Action Plan to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Liberia.”

“We encourage our member states to develop the necessary regulatory framework to combat money laundering and terrorist financing,” Dr. Shehu said.

He said the civil society and the media have a crucial role to play in combating money laundering because, according to him, no government can sustain a fight against money laundering and terrorist financing without the support of the media and civil society.

For his part, Deputy Justice Minister for Economic Affairs, Cllr. Joseph Jallah acknowledged that money laundering and terrorist financing are threats across the globe.

He noted that every society or government is vulnerable to agents of money laundering.

Minister Jallah then called for prevention mechanisms through inter-governmental efforts against these crimes.

“Money laundering and terrorist financing represent a grave threat that cannot be ignored. We urge the media, civil society and professional groups to help fight money laundering in Liberia,” Cllr. Jallah stated.

Cllr. Isaac E. Wonasue, GIABA National Correspondent in Liberia presented a paper on the background of money laundering in Liberia, while Solicitor General Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe gave synopsis on the legal frameworks against money laundering, terrorism and other economic crimes in Liberia.

The Rest @ The News (Monrovia, Liberia)

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