ECOWAS member-States are banding together to combat the threats posed by criminals to disguise the origins of their money and engage into illicit traffic of drugs linked to terrorism.
“ECOWAS is committed to peace and security in the region,” the President of ECOWAS Commission Marcel De Souza told delegates who attended a regional forum that ended on Thursday in Saly, located some 80 km away from Senegal’s capital Dakar.
The 3-day forum was organized by the Dakar-based Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and brought together GIABA national correspondents and heads of Financial Intelligence Units and technical and financial partners.
De Souza said the judiciary needs to be more active and timely in dealing with the relevant cases. He urged civil society organizations, the media, youths and women groups among others to be involved in advocating peace and security in the region.
As the organization is putting up its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan geared towards strengthening community cooperation in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, GIABA President Adama Coulibaly reiterated the importance of stakeholders engagement to address the concerns of growing terrorism in the region.
A declaration, which was endorsed by participants,recommended that governments of GIABA member States, international organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations, the media and the public join in the common effort to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The participants further called for the enactment of comprehensive AML/CFT legislations with appropriate sanctions.
ECOWAS will also do well looking into the origin of the power of some leaders. I mean the use of coups to take power and then use that incumbency to win fraudulent elections as is the case with Gambia. This is as illicit as drug money.