26 August 2014

East Africa: Interpol Warns of Organised Crimes in EA

Photo: Kenya Military
Part of the Westgate mall that was raided by armed militia in Nairobi (file photo).

INTERPOL has warned of emerging threats posed by organised criminal gangs, including terrorism to the East Africa region.

Head of Interpol regional bureau for Eastern Africa Rwego Francis said the gangs have become more sophisticated hence the need for concerted efforts in countering them.

He said although al-Shabab has been weakened by Amisom troops, the gangs continue to pose a threat to the region's stability.

Rwengo said cyber crime is funding the group's activities in the region.

He said the establishment of financial intelligence units in every country will assist in tracking their funding.

"Cyber crime is assisting in easy transfer of money that comes from questionable sources to support criminal activities. With FIU, we should be able to track the funds," said Rwego

Speaking during the opening of the East African Police Chiefs Association annual conference at the Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa yesterday, he called for enhanced counter terrorism efforts to deal with terror threats.

Rwego called for a regional approach that requires timely sharing of information, joint investigation and capacity building among member nations.

"All crimes have become transnational so fighting crime without a regional approach will not assist us. We need to strengthen cooperation in carrying out simultaneous operations," he said.

Rwego urged participants to come up with appropriate recommendations which will make policing in the region more effective.

Deputy inspector of police Grace Kaindi said terrorism constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security.

"It's our duty as security agencies to collectively fight terrorism. This can only be done by strengthening our capacities through enhanced cooperation and collaboration at the borders," she said.

Kaindi said there is need to establish command posts at the entry and exit points to screening travel documents.

She said countries should also update national and international data bases that will play major role in screening criminal elements.

Copyright © 2014 The Star. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.