The Minister for the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery, has urged Religious Leaders in the West Africa sub-region to fight the menace of money laundering and financing of terrorism.

He said this at the opening of the National Sensitization Seminar for High-Level Religious Leaders and Institutions on Implementing Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism held in Accra on July 18, 2018.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister for the Interior, Mr. Henry Quartey, he stated that, the surge in acts of terrorism and other organized crime within the sub-region could be attributed to the availability of funds – which is mostly through money laundering – to the unscrupulous people.

According to him, money laundering has infiltrated the social, political as well as the economic fabric of many countries thereby causing severe havoc within the Sub-region.

It was to this end, that the Minister commended the leadership of ECOWAS and particularly the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and the Financial Action Task Force- Styled Regional Body (FSRB) for organizing the seminar.

The Hon. Minister emphasized that, with resources about ten times the national budgets of some African countries, the syndicates are able to execute their nefarious acts to the detriment of the larger society and thus called for a collaborative effort in fighting them.

“Indeed no country can single handedly fight these syndicates and eliminate or reduce the grave effects of their actions on countries’ economies and in sometimes leading to the loss of lives”, the Minister said.

He used the opportunity to call on eminent and noble personalities in society to come on board and play their part in the fight against, whilst state institutions do their part to curb this canker.

“I have no doubt, all those present here, will bring their influence in society to bare in this fight”. He stated.

The seminar is a follow-up to the maiden conference held in April, 2017 for Religious leaders in Nigeria and Mali.

GIABA was established by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in 2000 with the mandate to protect the economies of member States from the laundering of the proceeds of crimes.