The three-day GIABA Plenary meeting is a platform for the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to share experiences and discuss relevant issues that require a concerted, collective and harmonise approach in the implementation of a robust anti-money laundering and countering of financial terrorism regimes in the region.
The meeting will bring together ECOWAS member states, GIABA national correspondents, development partners and observers in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, which is an integral part of GIABA’s efforts at achieving its mandate as well as fostering regional integration in the ECOWAS region.
Dr Abdullai Shehu, Director General of GIABA made this known at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday.
He said the plenary session would review the recommendations made by the Working Group on Mutual Evaluation and Implementation that discussed the follow-up report of Benin, Liberia, Senegal and Togo.
Dr Shehu said the implementation is on the expedited regular follow-up process and those of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra-Leone placed on the enhanced follow-up programme of the GIABA Mutual Evaluation Process and Procedures.
He said the GMC is the highest policy making body GIABA which comprises Ministers of Finance, Justices, the Interior and Security of each member states.
Dr Shehu said the ministers would consider the reports of the 18th and 19th Technical Commission/Plenary meeting and 12th GMC meeting, which would be honoured by President John Dramani Mahama who is expected to deliver the opening address, and unveil the GIABA 2012 Annual Report.
Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance said money laundering and terrorism financing has a negative effect in the sub-region and that ECOWAS member states should encourage and support GIABA to fight the menace to the highest level.
Mr Samuel Thomson Essel, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Intelligence Centre, said there is total political commitment by African leaders to fight money laundering.
He said his outfit was able to confiscate about 2.6 million dollars for Ghana.
GIABA is a specialised institution of ECOWAS as well as Financial Action Task Force and Style Regional Body established in December 2000 by the Authority of Heads of States and Government of ECOWAS.