Sunday, 19 November 2017

Financial Crime Will Wipe Us Out If Not Properly Addressed – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged ECOWAS member0states to treat seriously the challenge of money laundering and illicit financial flows as it has become a threat capable of wiping out countries if it is not urgently dealt with.
Speaking at the 18th ministerial committee meeting of the Inter-governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), Osinbajo said that action must follow the commitment to fight transnational organised crime, money laundering, and terrorist financing.
"We are dealing with an existential threat. Its either we wipe it out or it wipes us out. This should spur us to treat money laundering and all other financial crimes with zero tolerance. "We have for long affirm our commitment as a sub-region to fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. We must now back this intent with forceful action and visible results" he said.
The event featured discussions on how to effectively fight the scourge of transnational crime, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing and had in attendance ministers from the 17 member states of GIABA and diplomatic corp.
Osinbajo also called for more global support in the repatriation of funds as he described the dangers that lie ahead for member countries if financial corruption is not checked.
"It is unconscionable in our views to have stolen funds in a bank within the jurisdiction of a FATF (Financial Action Task Force) country and to have to go through a rigorous obstacle to retrieve the funds. And even when such funds are to be returned after several years, humiliating conditions are attached.
"We cannot have anonymous ownership of countries trusts and all other arrangements designed to cover the ownership of assets and at the same time expect optimal results from mounting money laundering measures".
The Director-General of Giaba, Adama Coulibaly, also at the event said the committee of the 17 members of GIABA is meeting for the second time in 2017 for the major purpose of finding a solution to terrorism and fighting financial crimes.

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