Government would eliminate the growing menace of money laundering and trans-national crimes in partnership with the youth, Mr Martin Amidu, Minister for Justice, declared on Thursday.
Addressing a forum on Money Laundering in Accra, Mr Amidu said the government would team up with the citizenry, especially the youth, in a determined effort to fight the canker.
“Government will stop at nothing to become your partner in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” the Minister said.
Money laundering is the practice of engaging in a series of financial transactions to conceal the ownership, source, control or destination of illegally gained money.
Therefore, it is the process by which the proceeds of crime are made to appear to have a legitimate origin.
The crime proceeds involved can be generated by any number of criminal acts, including drug dealing, corruption, accounting and other types of fraud, and tax evasion.
The forum is organised by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) to solicit support for the fight against money laundering and other trans-national organised crimes.
The initiative also seeks to educate, sensitise and mobilise all stakeholders, including the youth, in the fight against the growing menace of money laundering.
Mr Amidu said the youth deserved particular attention because, they were increasingly becoming vulnerable to the commission of transnational crimes and government would do its utmost best to prevent the youth from falling prey to such crimes.
He said the youth were also of particular concern because of their relation with the latest information technology, especially the internet, and their indiscriminate quest for success and wealth.
Besides, society has also become less critical of the means of wealth creation and acquisition.
“These and other behaviours of the youth place them at great risk of corruption by unscrupulous persons, gangs and organisations, sometimes unwittingly,” the Minister said.
Mr Amidu urged the youth to be suspicious of get-rich schemes, be wary of quick-money jobs and report any such attempts to law enforcement agencies.
He said the government was putting in place the relevant legislation and had also placed before Parliament the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.
Dr Abdullahi Shehu, Director General GIABA, said money laundering undermined sustainable development by eroding social and human capital, threatening social and political stability and driving away investment.
“The proceeds of crime fuel corruption, which in turn facilitates the commission of crimes and undermines the rule of law,” he said, adding that, in such situations no government could guarantee the safety of the financial system.
Mr Shehu urged all countries to cooperate in the fight to deal with the threat since organised crime “knows no borders”.
The GIABA Open House Forum is on the theme: “The Role of the Youth in Combating Transnational Organised Crime.”