The Attorney Generals Alliance (AGA) in collaboration with Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has held a two days forum on the theme, “Tackling the reality of Transnational Crime in Africa-Cross border solutions and international Cooperation”.
The event which aims to call to action the visiting attorneys general and their Africa counterparts to find a new approach to combat transnational crime with a focus on regional and international collaboration attracted AGA- Africa country representatives, subject matter experts, and representatives from the Africa justice, law and order sector, diplomatic corps, and NGO’s.
The forum also provided a favourable platform for stakeholders in Ghana and from other member countries to take part in activities to mark the year of of return.
Speaking to the media, the Director-General/Legal and Prosecutions COP/Mr Prosper Agblor says child trafficking related crimes are on top of the agenda of the Police citing that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the police department has put measures in place to reduce crimes relating trafficking. According Mr. Agblor, the police has referred about 54 child trafficking cases to court for the prosecution of the offenders.
Touching on corruption, Deputy Attorney-General and deputy Minister for Justice Godfred Dame lamented the continuous silence of people who were involved in the bribery relating to the procurement of the Airbus for the military which the British government has cited for corruption. He says; ” the very people whose leadership under which the bribery occurred are silent on the issue, and the former president who was the then vice President under whose watch the scandal happened is going round campaigning for votes from to the very people he has refused to open up to.
He hinted that legal procedures have begun to unmask and prosecute the perpetrators of the crime relating to the Airbus acquisition.
The two-day conference event which took place at Kempinski Gold Cost Hotel is the second of its kind held in Africa. It has various activities including; visit to cultural sites, courtesy calls on high-level government officials, participation in Ghana’s 6rd independence Day Celebrations.
AGA-Africa will also host a cocktail event at the end of the first day of the conference to foster networking among the event participants and visiting Attorneys General.
TRANSNATIONAL CRIME ACTIVITIES
Economic growth in Africa coupled with globalization has enabled organized crime groups to set up and expand. Africa is a critical hub for transnational crime networks because of its location at the center of routes that are not only responsible for trafficking of persons, but increasingly, drugs and wildlife. Often these crimes are proponents of other offenses such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and cyber-crime.
The level of Transnational Crime in Africa is significant. For instance, an estimated 18 tonnes of cocaine originating from South America and destined for Europe transit through West Africa annually. With respect to human trafficking, an estimated 3.5 million Africans are being trafficked at any given moment. Through the unlawful movement of people and products, criminals, terrorists, and armed insurgents profit. Proceeds from such criminal activity are then laundered through legitimate businesses and/or later to finance other cross-border crimes, including terrorism.
Ghana, in particular, is significant geographically. Located between Ivory Coast and Nigeria, Ghana sits at the heart of West Africa and a trafficking route that extends to North and East Africa. Hence, the country has considerable stakes and role in finding ways to combat the growing illicit trade in persons, drugs, artefacts and wildlife.
Ghana Police Service (GPS) anti-human trafficking unit (AHTU) in 2016 reported conducting 118 investigations of potential trafficking crimes, compared with 238 investigations in 2015; of these, 114 were for labor trafficking. In 2017 the number of investigations was 91. Of these, 48 were labor trafficking investigations, most of which were suspected labour trafficking of Ghanaian children within Ghana; and 19 were sex trafficking investigations, nearly all of which involved transnational transnational of Nigeria women and girls. Such statistics not only reflect Ghana’s commitment to comply with TVPA minimum standards and ensure justice for victims of trafficking, they also show the trans-national nature of such crimes in Africa and hence the need for a multi-faceted, multi-stakeholder approach to solving them.
AJNewsonline.com || Justice Felix Ametepe