GIABA Lunches Book on Prosecuting Econ & Financial Crimes
By William Selmah/WADR Correspondent
A program marking the official presentation of a book on ‘Strategies and Techniques of Prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes’ has taken place in Abuja, Nigeria, with a call for concerted effort to combat economic and financial crimes.
The Director General of the Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering (GIABA), Dr. Abdullahi Shehu described such crimes as menace that distort values and standards and create injustice, adding, “in whatever form it is manifested, it is often motivated by human greed”.
Economic and financial crimes manifested in various dimensions and with harmful effects, he noted, are evils which threaten the foundations of any civilized society and must be eliminated.
GIABA boss used the occasion to caution stakeholders and the public in general against compromising with corruption, because it endangers the wellbeing of any society.
“Bribery and corruption are cancerous activities in a healthy and sound society. They must be eradicated quickly and thoroughly, otherwise they would spread to the whole community like a prairie fire that never burns out and the consequence is disastrous”, Dr. Shehu warned.
He said the battle against economic and financial crimes in this contemporary age has become even more challenging with the advancement in technology and the change in tactics of perpetrators.
Dr. Shehu expressed delight that all member states of GIABA have now promulgated laws criminalizing money laundering and terrorist financing, although some of the laws still require improvement to conform to acceptable international standards.
At the launch of the book, Dr. Shehu thanked the Nigerian authorities, especially the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Justice Minister gracing the occasion and for their continued support and encouragement.
He also commended the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and his staffers for the support given GIABA in making the book launch a huge success. The Ministers of Justice of Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, were singled out for accepting to co-present the book, as well as the Book Reviewer.
This latest book seeks to provide some guidance to officials involved in the prosecution of economic and financial crimes, and reviews contending issues, provoking some thoughts, especially on the ways in which the capacity of prosecutors should be enhanced to effectively deal with economic and financial crimes.
In short, Dr. Shehu explained that it aims to strengthen the integrity and professionalism of prosecutors.
He said interested users will find the publication useful not only in understanding the nature and patterns as it also draws inspiration from experiences of many jurisdictions.
One of the measures of GIABA’S success, its boss noted, is the “vast array of publications that it has been able to coordinate and orchestrate, including its Annual Reports, Mutual Evaluation Reports, Typologies Reports, Study Reports, and a model anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) Compliance Manual for use by regional financial regulators, financial institutions and other regulated businesses and professions”, Dr Shehu outlined.
These publications, he explained, are invaluable resources for various stakeholders and researchers and represent an important contribution to the regional effort to combat a wide range of economic crimes and terrorist financing.