The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) organized a 4- day Regional Capacity Building Workshop on Economic and Financial Crimes for West African Judges, Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Officers from December 12 – 15, 2016 at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria.
The objective of the 4-day seminar was to enhance the capacity and skills of the superior court judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers of the participating member States to enable them deal with substantive legal issues and facilitate the implementation of AML/CFT legislation. Furthermore, the workshop is intended to sensitize the participants on international developments in combating economic and financial crimes. The workshop was aimed at foster sharing of experiences among counterparts, as well as consider regional and international legal frameworks and best practices in the area of economic and financial crimes.
Within the framework of its mandate to support member States in the implementation of AML/CFT measures of acceptable international standards, GIABA has since 2008 been organizing Regional Capacity Building Seminars on economic and financial crimes aimed at addressing the gaps identified in the Mutual Evaluation Reports and Follow-up Reports of GIABA member States. Those reports reveal that the number of money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) convictions in the region remain low and a considerable number of GIABA member States are yet to obtained a money laundering conviction.
The workshop, which focused on investigation prosecution and adjudication ML/TF cases covered issues such as seizing and freezing and other provisional measures concerning proceeds of crime and assets linked to terrorism; forfeiture of criminal proceeds; international cooperation, including mutual assistance; ML/TF typologies; and techniques for successful adjudication of AML/CFT cases. The Workshop also covered the role of FIUs and other stakeholders for successful prosecution of economic and financial crimes.
The Workshop was delivered by experts and personnel of the GIABA Secretariat through hands-on case reviews, syndicate group discussions and presentation of country experiences.
At the end of the Workshop, the aim of having an increase in the number of criminal justice officers who are well trained and knowledgeable on AML/CFT issues geared towards facilitating successful prosecution of ML/FT and related offences was ahieved.