The New Dawn (Monrovia)

28 April 2014

Liberia: Cllr. Gongloe Warns Against Money Laundering

A member of the Judiciary branch of government Cllr. Taiwan S. Gongloe has called for the enforcement of Liberia's Money Laundering Law, stressing that in order for the Law to be effective, the Legislature should put measures in place that will stop those involved.

Money laundering is the process of taking proceeds of criminal activity and making them appear clean and illegal, he added.

Cllr. Gongloe said those notoriously known for money laundering in the world are drug traffickers, because "they generate enough money from their criminal enterprise and their intention is to put the proceeds of criminal conduct into a financial system."

He spoke over the weekend at a one-day symposium organized by the CAMTEFIL under the theme: Capacity Building and Sensitization Campaign against Money Laundering and Illicit Drugs, and Terrorist Financing in Liberia" at the auditorium of the Monrovia YMCA on Crown Hill, Broad Street.

Cllr. Gongloe noted that money laundering is not restricted to drug traffickers only, but also people engaged in white collar crime such as corrupt public officials do when they convert public money to their own or take bribes from another person who also engages in money laundering. According to him, they are like drugs traffickers who also find their way to make their dirty money clean.

The Counselor narrated that a drug trafficker or corrupt government official could open his or her own night club, or big farm and a transport business or a petrol station or jewelry business, or buying and selling of diamonds which could transform illegal money into clean money.

He told participants that "some time you see a person engaged in a small business such as night club or commercial farm and within a short time he starts to show up his wealth and then you get inspired by that person by borrowing from your friend or the bank to do the same business in order to live like that person, but you find yourself not succeeding it is because the business that you admire from your friend money came from an illicit money,..."

He pointed out that the fight against money laundering is therefore morally justified, but cannot succeed without the collective efforts of the government particularly it's law enforcement officers.

For his part, the National Director for the Center Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Liberia (CAMTEFIL) says money laundering is one of the factors that lead to budget short full in the country, saying, "There should be a measure that will be undertaken to stop who ever involved in this act, because it's causing serious problems for ordinary citizens."

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