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FIU director promises to work with anti-money laundering journalists

Feb 24, 2014, 10:01 AM | Article By: Osman Kargbo

The director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of The Central Bank of The Gambia has promised to work with the Network of Journalists against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing – The Gambia, a national chapter of the sub-regional network.

Director Yahya Camara made this promise recently while speaking to members of the network during a courtesy call on him at his office within the Central Bank of The Gambia in Banjul on Wednesday.

Mr Camara said his unit is ready to work with the network to see how best accurate information on the scourges of the twin evils of money laundering and financing terrorism (ML and FT) could reach the masses.

Established by an Act of Parliament, the FIU is mandated to render services such as combating ML and FT in The Gambia.

Speaking at the meeting, the network coordinator, Lamin Jahateh, said the visit was carried out to formally introduce the network to the FIU and to discuss issues of joint efforts and collaboration with the FIU, as part of the network’s 2014 action plan.

The main objectives of the network include complementing the efforts of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) in combating economic and financial crimes in the sub-region with a view to protecting national economies and financial systems from money laundering.

The network also aims to build the capacity of journalists to report well on issues pertaining to money laundering and terrorism financing.

Mr Jahateh said the network intends to organize a seminar this year to familiarise journalists with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing Terrorism Act of The Gambia.

This is to help journalists to be au fait with the tools and knowledge needed to do proper reporting on and analyses of the twin crimes.

He also told the FIU boss that the network intends to hold symposium on International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December.

The event will be staged to raise awareness on the menace of corruption as it is one of the sources from which people derive illicit funds to launder or finance criminals.

The network also has plans to prepare and publish an E-Newsletter that will contain quality reports and feature articles on ML and FT, as part of its efforts at disseminating information on the twin crimes.

The FIU director said the initiatives of the network are welcome, adding that the FIU will collaborate with the network to fight money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Gambia’s Network of Journalists against Money Laundering is a national chapter of the Network of Journalists against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism in West Africa.

The establishment of the media network is in cognizance of the crucial role of the media in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The sub-regional media network includes senior journalists and editors from The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone among other West African countries.

The aim is to form a regional media alliance to wage massive crusade against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The meeting was also attended by the Director of Financial Supervision Department of the Central Bank of The Bank, Essa Drammeh, and other Network members such as Modou S. Joof.