Organised by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of The Gambia, the training was held under the support of ‘Inclusive Growth Promotion Institutional Support Project’ with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In his opening statement, Momodou L.K. Sanneh, deputy speaker of the National Assembly said the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees of the National Assembly have a responsibility in scrutinising the audit reports of public institutions and enterprises in the way and manner in which they operate and utilize public funds.
Hon. Sanneh recalled that over the years, the committees have been very active in executing this mandate and have made a lot of recommendations to those institutions in order to ensure funds are better managed both financially and administratively.
The committees, he added, will be around for the foreseeable future as it is very important that public institutions and enterprises are held accountable for the use and/or misuse of public funds.
“The training will add value to the committee members in terms of understanding how financial crimes are committed and the mechanisms or ways through which the financial gains from such crimes can be enjoyed by the perpetrators.”
He expressed their readiness to support the FIU and the country’s efforts in fighting financial crimes and to comply with all necessary and relevant regional and international standards.
Alagie Darboe, director of Financial Intelligence Unit of The Gambia (FIU) indicated that Africa loses billions of dollars every year through illicit financial flows in form of tax evasion, fraud, among others.
Mr. Darboe added: “If adequate measures are in place and these illicit financial flows prevented the revenue we are currently losing could be utilized to improve our healthcare system, expand access to quality education, develop infrastructure, among others.”
He explained that predicate offenses such as drug trafficking, bribery and corruption are still very much prevalent in Africa.
With ever-changing money laundering methods, he added, that perpetrators of these crimes continue to benefit from their illicit activities at the expense of law-abiding citizens.