The Minister of information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has called for effective collaboration between journalists and an inter-governmental action group against money laundering in West Africa, GIABA, in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.
According to Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the ECOWAS region is becoming unstable with the increasing incidents of terrorism and insecurity.
The Minister speaking at the opening of a two-day national anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism media outreach activity at Alisa Hotel in Accra cited a recent incident in the Upper East Region where efforts to apprehend persons suspected to be associated with terrorism were thwarted by local youth.
The capacity-building workshop is to equip the 16 participating journalists with the necessary information to educate the public on the negative impact of money laundering and terrorism financing.
GIABA is a specialized institution of ECOWAS with the mandate to protect the economies of West African countries from the exploitation of laundering proceeds and crime
The Minister admonished there should be enhanced education through awareness creation to keep the people abreast of the negative effects of money laundering and terrorism financing.
He also mentioned weak regulatory frameworks, political instability, highly informal economies, transactions across porous borders and growing sophistication in cybercrime as some activities creating avenues for money laundering and terrorism financing.
“Money laundering and terrorism divert resources away from legitimate economic activities, hindering economic development and contributing to persistent poverty.
“They exacerbate income inequality as proceeds often benefit a small group of individuals or entities, widening the wealth gap. Persistent issues with money laundering can harm a country's international reputation, affecting its standing in global financial markets and diplomatic relations”, he noted.
He appealed to the media to increase education on the dangers of money laundering and terrorism saying “good quality reporting can shed light on weaknesses in regulatory frameworks and enforcement, encouraging governments to strengthen anti-money laundering measures”.
“The media can provide a platform for whistleblowers to come forward with information on money laundering and terrorism financing activities. It is my expectation that this event will provide our colleagues in the media with the necessary skills required to aid their contribution in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing”, he added.
He continued; “With the right tools, our colleagues in the media will neither bastardize every successful person, nor blindly promote anything that seems wealthy. They will be equipped to assist the society eschew persons involved in or baiting others to assist with money laundering and terrorist financing.”