Jan 29, 2009, 6:08 AM
daylong forum on money laundering and terrorism financing held yesterday in
Gambia by the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West
Africa (GIABA) targeted the right segment of the society, the youth.
The full and active participation of youth in the fight against the twin crime of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML and TF) is almost indispensable.
This is so because most of the criminal acts of money laundering such as drug trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping, advance fee fraud (419), currency counterfeiting and migrant smuggling are mainly perpetrated by those in their youthful ages.
In addition, they are highly susceptible and vulnerable to money laundering crimes as highlighted by the director general of GIABA.
To corroborate that, the Gambia’s Minister of Justice has also pointed out that Gambian youths are “increasingly becoming vulnerable” to the commission of transnational crimes of money laundering.
These make it all the more important to engage the youth in the fight against money laundering to make them know its consequences on the society and the economy of the nation as well as make them know their responsibility to join in the all-out-war in combating the menace.
The youths are a critical segment of the population that a country cannot afford to neglect in the fight against ML and TF.
They deserve particular attention as they are increasingly becoming vulnerable to the commission of transnational crimes and as such there is the need to prevent them from falling prey.
Therefore, GIABA’s open house forum for youth is a commendable initiative in improving the capacities of the future leaders to better position them in championing the fight against ML and TF.
The youth themselves must now take the baton and lead in the fight against money laundering to prevent it from discouraging their innovativeness and productivity.
Imagine, for instance, where a school dropout or any youth for that matter should involve in illicit drug trafficking, a money laundering offence, making as much money within one month than the combined annual salary of three senior civil servants in the country.
When other youths see this drug trafficker living large, they will, without doubt, be tempted to stop whatever education or other legal enterprise they are involved in to venture into drug trafficking to make quick fat money. This damages the youth themselves first before destroying the social fabric of the society.
Therefore, the youth owe it to themselves, first and foremost, to not allow themselves to continue to be vulnerable to money laundering but to be vanguard in combating its scourges, so as to lead a more fruitful and ensure a safe and steady growth of the national economy.
“Whoever is detected in a shameful fraud is ever after not believed even if they speak the truth. ”