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UNODC continues to strengthen cooperation in countering the illicit financial flows in Southern Africa

UNODC continues to strengthen cooperation in countering the illicit financial flows in Southern Africa

by Kudzai Chinoda -
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UNODC continues to strengthen cooperation in countering  illicit financial flows in Southern Africa

 Delegates at a Regional Workshop held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

UNODC has launched a series of capacity building workshops through its project " Countering Illicit Financial Flows by Strengthening Law Enforcement for Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Southern Africa (ARINSA)". A regional approach has been taken with various workshops being held in the region.  The first workshop was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 12 to 15 August 2019.

The workshop was facilitated by Mrs. Connie Williams Regional Law Enforcement Adviser for Southern Africa and was the first in a series of workshops and instances of technical assistance aimed at increasing the operational capacity of target countries to identify, seize and confiscate currency and bearer negotiable instruments being smuggled into and through their jurisdictions.

In his opening remarks at the 4-day event the UK Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Rick Shearn, highlighted that illicit cross-border movement of cash and other valuable commodities, such as gold and diamonds, allows criminals and drug dealers to transport and conceal the proceeds of crime facilitating the financing of transnational criminal organizations.

Southern Africa has not escaped the negative effects of this global problem, as cash is often smuggled through its borders to finance organised criminal activities including narcotics, human trafficking, and terrorism. This initiative is aimed at limiting the movement of illicit funds and removing the proceeds of crime to effectively reduce the incidences of transnational organized crime and increase cooperation and knowledge and intelligence sharing amongst institutions within the region.

The sessions introduced various subject matter including, cash smuggling modalities, mechanisms of border security, money laundering schemes, profiling, investigative interviewing techniques as well as gap analysis on the implementation of best practices on operational capacity. The sessions emphasised the importance of inter-agency cooperation and collaboration of national authorities mandated to prevent, investigate and prosecute money-laundering and related offenses, as well how to locate, seize and confiscate the proceeds from crime.

This all-inclusive initiative draws participants from various stakeholders such as border management, the police, Financial Intelligence Units, customs and public prosecutor’s office. Participants are exposed to networking opportunities as they interact with their counterparts from other ARINSA member states. These regional forums enable them to draw on their experiences and contribute to interesting discussions and the identification of common challenges and solutions


The national workshop in Eswatini brought together 18 practitioners from financial intelligence and investigations, customs, DPP and law enforcement. 

The discussions and interactive exchange of views allowed the participants to identify both the best practices and the challenges faced by the judiciary and law enforcement agencies in investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating cash smuggling and money-laundering, and to assess the adequacy of law enforcement capacity in Eswatini, which are applied for depriving criminals of proceeds of crime.

This project is funded by the United Kingdom Department of International Development and aims to assist target counties to strengthen their operational capacity to seize, confiscate currency and bearer negotiable instruments being smuggled and to foster cooperation at the regional level for effective action to tackle organised crime, money laundering and the financing of terrorism  

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