The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a regional body in the business of alerting and watching out for activities involving money laundering, will on Tuesday, November 26 begin a two-day training for Liberian journalists to prepare them investigate, and diagnose some complex strategies associated with money laundering.
Money laundering, according to International Compliance Association (ICA), is the generic term used to describe the process by which criminals disguise the original ownership and control of the proceeds of criminal conduct by making such proceeds appear to have derived from a legitimate source.
The training is a part of GIABA’s regional workshop for journalists, aimed at harnessing the power of the media to be more alert and disseminate anti-money laundering messages. It will also ensure to capacitate investigative journalists to report, and disseminate messages that counter the financing of terrorism to a wide audience in the West African region, as well as liaise with the media in unearthing unwholesome financial practices, including money laundering.
The workshop, therefore, seeks to train competent and experienced journalists to have a general knowledge of money laundering and terrorist financing; assist participants to produce reports and articles or features of quality on money laundering and terrorist financing issues, and improve the network of journalists to disseminate truthful information on money laundering and terrorist financing systems in West Africa.
One of the main functions of GIABA is to promote strategic partnerships with the civil society, including news media, religious leaders, youths and several state actors in the fight against these menaces.
GIABA has been in existence since 2005, providing technical assistance to member countries, conducting training programs for different actors and sectors involved in efforts and actions to combat the scourges of money laundering and terrorist financing.
“The fight against economic and financial crimes is an enormous task requiring concerted, coordinated, and cooperative efforts by several stakeholders, each with distinct but complementary roles,” a release from GIABA said.
GIABA’s work in training and sensitizing people on money laundering and terrorist financing, if disregarded for any reason, cannot be overlooked nowadays.
Several terrorist attacks have been reported in West Africa of recent; one in nearby Ivory Coast and several others in Burkina Faso and Mali.
The seminar is to build strong alliance with the media for effective dissemination of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing messages and to improve network among journalists in promoting the implementation of effective AML/CFT regimes in the region.
The training will be facilitated by experienced and highly competent media experts on anti-money laundering issues, including GIABA faculty through plenary sessions, case studies, experience-sharing, and syndicate group sessions.
GIABA is a specialized institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as well as Financial Task Force responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist financing in the West African region. It was established by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in 2000 with the mandate to protect the national economies and the financial systems of member states from abuse and the laundering of the proceeds of crimes.