The Minister for Justice and Attorney General of Ghana, Ms. Gloria Akuffo, has underscored the need for a collaborative effort to help combat money laundering which is crippling the financial sector in the country.
Adding that the judiciary must also impose the necessary deterrent punishment on the perpetrators of the crime, stressing that, the perpetrators should be denied of enjoying their ill-gotten wealth.
“Assets of persons convicted of economic offenses should be traced, seized and recovered to make the conduct unattractive,” she stressed.
These were said at the International Forum on Asset Recovery and Money Laundering organised by the European Union through its Accountability Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General Department, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice(CHRAJ) and economic and organised crime Office (EOCO) in Accra.
The event was one of several events organised for Ghana’s Anti-corruption and transparency week (ACT) Which was commenced on Monday, December 2, 2019, in Accra.
According to the AG, World Bank estimates, between US$20 million and US$40
billion which is also estimated to be equivalent to twenty to forty percent of the World Bank’s development assistance in 2007 which is stolen every year through the high level of corruption, from developing countries and hidden overseas.
With an explicit focus on money laundering, recovery of assets and mutual legal assistance, she stated that the major tool which be can be used to fight against money laundering in the world is to recover and return assets stolen to the victim or country of origin.
“Asset Recovery, the process by which proceeds of crime are recovered and returned to the victim or country of origin has, therefore, become a major tool in the global fight against money laundering as well as other financial crimes”, she stated.
She added that the fight against corruption is no respecter of boundaries, hence the country needs to strengthen the mechanism for bilateral and multilateral cooperation to enhance its anti-corruption efforts.
Ms. Gloria Akuffo, therefore, called for a firm partnership between governments and the public sector, civil society, media, private sector, professional associations, and faith-based organizations to come together and fight against this canker.