From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Journalists get Schooled on Economic & Financial Crimes Reporting
By Augustine Samba
Oct 26, 2010, 17:08

A two-day seminar on economic and financial crime reporting for journalists drawn from the print and electronic media will today Tuesday 26th October 2010 end at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.

The Workshop is being organized by the Inter- Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), under the purview of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The primarily aim of the seminar is to identify and address deficiencies in the Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in the sub-region and to institute robust measures through communication and advocacy programmes to enlighten all strata of society.


Finance Minister Samura and others at High Table

In his statement, Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Samura Kamara, said the fight against economic and financial crimes is very timely, whilst emphasizing the much needed support of all stakeholders including the media and other MDA.

According to him, the battle against economic and financial crimes has gained a global momentum, as a result of the threats of instability to the integrity of financial systems, economic growth and the rule of law.

He commended GIABA Secretariat for mobilizing the press to join the war against this heinous crime.

He disclosed that the government is undertaking series of activities with GIABA in order to enhance success in the day to day fight against economic and financial crimes in the West Africa sub-region. 

He informed that the state is now working on the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2005, which is to be domesticated as the Anti-Money Laundering /Combating the Financing of Terrorism Bill of 2009, adding that it has already been approved by cabinet and is now before the Attorney General’s Office.

The Director General of GIABA, Dr. Abdulahi Sheku, expressed appreciation to the ministries of finance and justice for what he described as their unflinching support to his institutions with regards the execution of their mandate in Sierra Leone. He disclosed that GIABA was established on the 10th December 2000 in Lome, Togo, by member countries of ECOWAS, to protect national economy and banking systems of member states.

According to him, the importance of the role of the media in this fight cannot be overemphasized. “The media will play a critical role in raising public awareness on the negative effects of the crimes through their investigations,” he said, whilst underscoring that the media will also assist the law enforcers in the discharge of their duties to clampdown culprits.

The seminar, he said, will capacitate media practitioners to understand the issues of transnational organized crimes, especially money laundering and terrorist financing in the West African sub-region.

He underscored that the training will produce competent and confident communicators with sound knowledge about anti money laundering and counter financing of terrorism.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.