A three days training on money laundering, economic and financial crimes has began in Monrovia. The aim of the three days training is to help improve trained journalist in the reporting of financial fraud, economic and financial crimes and other forms of crimes in West Africa. The training that brought together over 35 participants is organize by GIABA, an arm of ECOWAS against money laundering in West Africa, GIABA is the acronym of Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in Africa.
Representing the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism, acting Minister Daniel Gayedyu expressed government’s gratitude to GIABA for selecting Liberia among ECOWAS countries for the workshop. He said GIABA has made considerable progress through the cohesion of regional Anti Money Laundering cooperation provision of technical assistance and training of different actors in several sectors in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing since its operational in 2005. He said the selection of Liberia is in the right direction as such that President Weah has give journalists more opportunity to work and the freedom of speech. Mr. Gayedyu at the sometime cautioned participants to give their best attention to the program in order to add to their knowledge on reporting on financial issues.
Meanwhile, GIABA Director General Justice Kimmelabalou Aba said, GIABA was established in response to the effect of money laundering and economic crimes among its member states. GIABA assist its member states to fight financial and economic crimes by providing mainly technical assistance. He added, the workshop is a demonstration of their institution firm movement to pursue and strengthen its assistance with media actors in adopting collective measures against crimes among member states. He continued that, the workshop is to train competent and experience journalist in improving their reporting on money laundering and economic and financial cases.
Also speaking at the ceremony was the Director of FIU Liberia Edward Harris, he thanked GIABA for choosing Liberia for this year’s training, he acknowledge the training will improve the media exposure to financial crimes and money laundering. Mr. Harris agreed that the skills and knowledge gain from the training will benefit GIABA members at large.
Serving as chief launcher and representing the minister of Finance and Development Planning, Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affair Samora Wolokolie said, GIABA play significant role in maintaining well functioning monetary system. He said the creation of GIABA through sagacity of West African leaders is a clear indication that West Africa is ready and prepare to combat money laundering and financial crimes and financial and monetary dealings. “The commitment to stem out illicit trade, eradicate dubious financial transactions and discourage money laundering activities clearly demonstrates to the world West Africa’s readiness to rules and committed to expose and prosecute fraudulent activities” Mr. Wolokolie noted. He said, institution such as GIABA gives confidence to business communities and international partners assurance that structure and safe guards to protect them against money laundering and fraudulent activities. Mr Wolokolie said the media is the right strategist group and well positioned to demonstrate to the world the remarkable things GIABA does. He admonished the media presence to participate and professionalism and asked for the promotion of GIABA programs.