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Yahya Camara said his Unit is ready to work with the network
to see how best the right information on the scourges of the twin evils of
Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism (ML and FT) reach the masses.
The FIU is established by an Act of the parliament and is mandated to render services such combating ML and FT
in The Gambia.
Mr Camara was speaking to members of
the network during a courtesy call to his office, located within the Central
Bank of The Gambia in Banjul, on Wednesday.
Speaking earlier, Lamin Jahateh, coordinator of the network,
said the purpose of the visit is to formally introduce the network to the FIU,
and to discuss areas that the FIU can collaborate with the network, as part of
the network’s 2014 action plan.
The main objectives of the network include complementing the
efforts of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West
Africa (GIABA) in combating economic and financial crimes in the sub-region
with a view to protect the national economies and financial systems from
The network also aims to build the capacity of journalists
reporting on issues pertaining to money laundering and terrorism financing.
Mr Jahateh said this year the network intends to organize a
seminar to familiarise journalists with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter
Financing Terrorism Act of The Gambia.
“This is to help journalists to be au fait with the tools
and knowledge needed to do a proper reporting and analysis of the twin crimes,”
He also told the FIU boss that the network intends to hold a
symposium on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9th December.
“The event will be staged to raise awareness on the menace of corruption as it
is one of the sources where people derive illicit fund to launder or to finance
The network also has plans to prepare and publish an
E-Newsletter that will contain quality reports and feature articles on ML and
FT, as part of its efforts to disseminate information on the twin crimes.
Mr Camara, director of the FIU, said the initiatives of the
network are welcome and that the FIU will see how best they can collaborate
with the network.
On the training, he said, already the FIU has little funding
from the African Development Bank and there are trainings as part of the
package that they are supposed to do with different sectors.
“So, we will see how best we can stage at least one training
for journalists on the AML/CFT Act. We have not yet finalise on the
programme schedules, but we will see where to fit it in,” he said.
“But again you also have to work more with GIABA to be
organisaing more training for journalists in The Gambia. Not only
providing a single training, but it should be ongoing. At least one or
twice in a year, GIABA should come up to help train journalists on AML/CFT
issues,” he added.
Aside from staging a tailor-made training for journalists,
the FIU boss said they will also be inviting one or journalists from the
network to be participating in the trainings the FIU will organized for
different stakeholders so that the journalists can be sensitized on different
aspects of ML and FT.
The meeting was also attended by Mr Essa Drammeh, director
of Financial Supervision Department of the Central Bank of The Bank and Modou
S. Joof, a member of the journalists’ network.
The Network of Journalists against Money Laundering is a
national chapter of the Network of Journalists against Money Laundering and
Financing of Terrorism in West Africa.
The sub-regional media network includes senior journalists
and editors from Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone among other
West African countries. The aim is to form a regional media alliance to
wage massive crusade against money laundering and terrorism financing.
The establishment of the media network is in cognizance of
the crucial role of the media in the fight against money laundering and
financing of terrorism.