Africa needs central criminal data system to fight organised crimes – Ndego

Benjamin Ndego
Benjamin Ndego

Mr Benjamin Ndego, the Compliance and Risk Manager for Africa at Travelex Worldwide Money, has called for the establishment of an Africa Central Criminal Data System (ACCDS) to effectively fight transnational organised crimes.

With such a system, security services would have access to the needed information on the perpetrators of those crimes to be able to crack down on their activities.

He said with globalisation, crimes that hitherto could easily be fought by countries on their own had become transnational, making it easier for actors to use improved communication, finances, and transportation to deepen their activities.

Mr Ndego, Ghana’s Correspondent for Anti-money Laundering in GIABA (International Money Laundering in West Africa), made the call during the two-week course on Maritime Security and Transnational Organised Crime in Accra.

Thirty-four professionals from 13 Gulf of Guinea countries are participating in the workshop, organised by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and supported by the German Government.

He said Africans must stop giving excuses that would prevent them from working together to win such fights, and rather create the needed transparency to make it easy for them to share information to benefit the continent.

Mr Ndego, who is also the Money Laundering Reporting Officer for Travelex, Nigeria, called for modification of traditional state-centric responses to consider the nature of these new threats and the involvement of non-state actors.

He called on governments to focus on human security-related issues as well as target money laundering policies, in addition to setting up task forces for trans-border intelligence sharing to prevent cross-border crimes.

He said cooperation for law enforcement and conducting intel-guided operations were important in the fight against transnational organised crimes.

Mr Ndego encouraged countries to solve border disputes, develop infrastructure, and have coordinated patrolling while cooperating with other countries to multiply their efforts along the border to defeat security challenges.

Transnational organised crimes, if not tackled, had the capacity to weaken the financial and economic systems of countries and undermine democracy.

The whole of West Africa, for instance, was under attack from narcotic traffickers, who worked against the peace and stability of nations and often used bribery, terror, and violence to meet their goals, he said.

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