FRAMEWORK OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND COMBATING OF FINANCIAL TERRORISM IN THE ECOWAS REGION

11149 Words Sep 10th, 2014 45 Pages
FRAMEWORK OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND COMBATING OF FINANCIAL TERRORISM IN THE ECOWAS REGION
By
Oladeji Ifeoluwa Temilolu

1.0 Introduction
Money laundering as a form of cross border crime involves the use of legal tender in a financial transaction in order to conceal the origin, source or destination of such legal tender derived through illegal means. The sole aim of every money launderer is to misrepresent to any law enforcement authority or agency that the source of the funds are clean. As such it would be a difficult task for any enforcement authority to trace the source of the funds and by so doing the money launderers are able to escape prosecution or conviction.
The term money laundering has its origin grounded in the Mafia
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In order to curb the rising incidence of financial crimes in ECOWAS, several ECOWAS countries8 keyed into the cooperative move going on at the international level, by ratifying some of the conventions, most especially the 2000 Palermo Convention. The ratification of the Palermo Convention came into force on the 29th of September 2003.9In addition to the convention ratified at the international level, other initiatives such as Convention on Preventing and Combating Terrorism were launched amongst the African bodies through the Organization of African Unity ( OAU now AU). Furthermore following the cooperative trends, the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (IGAGML later GIABA) was established by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government in December 1999 though it came into full force in 2000, as a local response to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing within ECOWAS region10. One of the responsibilities of GIABA is to ensure that all member states comply with international best practices on money laundering, Anti-money laundering and combating financial terrorism seeing that money launderers have expanded their tentacles to the sphere of financing terrorism11.
Based on the need to find solution as required by the international community, a political declaration was issued in

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