The government is determined to fight crime and make it unattractive for people who may indulge in that venture, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, has assured the nation.
“We are determined to freeze, prosecute and confiscate proceeds of crime to disable the economic capabilities of criminals and ensure that our beloved country does not become a hub or safe haven for criminals," she said.
Mrs Appiah-Opong gave the assurance in a keynote address delivered on her behalf at the opening of a three-day workshop to launch the National Risk Assessment (NRA) on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction yesterday.
In 2016, Ghana and other West African countries will be assessed by GIABA on their preparedness to deal with criminal activities such as anti-money laundering and terrorism and its financing.
GIABA is an institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responsible for facilitating the adoption and implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism in West Africa.
The Accra workshop is, therefore, aimed at preparing Ghana in respect of assessing the risks the country faces as far as those crimes were concerned and the measures required to deal with them ahead of the sub-regional assessment in 2016.
The Attorney-General said the workshop was very timely on two fronts — first, it was being held at a time when there was a high incidence of insecurity in the sub-region and the world as a whole which presented a fertile ground for transnational organised crimes, including money laundering and terrorist financing, and, second, the outcome would enable Ghana to deploy its scarce resources judiciously to address critical sectors that were vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing.
Mrs Appiah-Opong said the government had always demonstrated a strong resolve to ensure that a robust and resilient anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regime was established in the country.
She said the NRA should be tailored to meet the circumstances of the country in terms of its conclusions and executions.
“Efforts should be made to ensure that the NRA is based on fresh and accurate information,” she said, and urged representatives of the government, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to bring their knowledge and expertise to bear on the development of the NRA blueprint that fitted the country’s circumstances.
A National Security Advisor, Mr W. K. Aboah, who chaired the workshop, stressed the need for cooperation and the sharing of information among the stakeholders, pointing out that without such collaboration, it would be difficult to carry out investigations.
He said it was prudent for Ghana to have a central database for intelligence collection and expressed the hope that the World Bank would help make that a reality.
Source: Daily Graphic
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