Officials of the sub-regional
bloc ECOWAS met in Monrovia to brainstorm at the 27th Plenary of an
Inter-governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa or
At the opening of the meeting on
Wednesday, in Monrovia, European Union Representative Mr. Antoine
GouzeeDeharveen said money laundering is one of the contributing factors that
leads to corruption and also prevents the state from functioning properly.
Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Ghana,
Nigeria, Guinea and Senegal were hosted in the Liberian capital at the GIABA
27th Plenary that began since Monday at the Monrovia City Hall and graced by
dignitaries from some countries within the sub-regional bloc.
The plenary meeting assembles
experts including representatives of member states, development partners and
observers in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
The event offers an opportunity
for member states to come together and share their experiences with respect to
the challenges they face in implementing effective anti - money laundering and
counter terrorism measures.
Mr. Deharveensays money
laundering has a negative governmental impact on the society, including the
economy and other democratic institutions. Consideration and approval of
reports on the mutual evaluation of member states are key elements expected to
be high on the agenda during the meeting.
According to Mr. Deharveen, money
laundering has been a threat, and it is one of the priorities of the EU on
grounds that his institution has internet security strategy in place that will
fight against organized crime such as money laundering.
The EU Envoy said that the entire
West African region is faced with this organized crime situation, prompting the
meeting held here in Liberia to put some measures in place. Also speaking,
GIABA Director General Mr. Adama Coulibaly said that the meeting in Liberia is
to strengthen the relationship between GIABA, ECOWAS and the EU.
He said, they will strengthen the
entire anti - money laundering and terrorism financing measures in West Africa.
Though he noted that they are
facing financial difficulties, he however remains confident that they will use
the meeting in Monrovia to support the budget of the member states.
He concluded that GIABA is
seeking to assess what has been done in the member states so far and to create
the opportunity for the Financial Intelligence Unit or FIU to make ownership of
discussions taking place in Monrovia.