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Money laundering, terrorism financing are detrimental to national economy

May 10, 2016, 11:34 AM

The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) is currently in The Gambia conducting a weeklong course on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in the West African sub-region, to keep officials of the central banks and economic affairs ministries of member countries up to speed with the menace of money laundering and terrorism financing.

This intensified step by WAIFEM has been necessitated by the fact that money laundering and organised financial crimes have remained key problems in the West African sub-region. By extension, the growth of organized forms of crime globally has been considered to be “alarming”.

It is, therefore, significant that such a training workshop is organised for key players in the sub-region, as the fundamental concern here is the damage money laundering and terrorism financing do to a nation’s economy and financial system, if serious actions are not taken to combat them.

While money laundering basically involves the proceeds of criminally derived property rather than the property itself, financial crimes are sometimes referred to as nonviolent criminal acts that involve the theft or misuse of money.

The consequences of money laundering are dire as they have the potential to wreck a country’s economy and cause serious havoc to the nation.

Money laundering has potentially devastating economic, security (such as terrorism financing), and social consequences.

Unchecked, money laundering has the potentials of eroding the integrity of a nation’s financial institutions.

Money laundering is thus not only a law enforcement problem; it poses a serious national and international security threat as well, as it also propels insecurity through offshoot problem of terrorism financing.

Money laundering, financial crimes and terrorism financing undermine the integrity of financial markets, engender the loss of control of economic policy, cause economic distortion and instability, lead to loss of revenue, pose risks to privatization efforts, and damage national reputation and security.

For these and other social problems, such as their ability to transfer economic power from the market, government and citizens to criminals, these evils must be fought hard by preventing or combatting them in the society.

"Money laundering has the potential to wreck a country’s economy and cause serious havoc to the nation.”

The Point