State Prosecutors build capacity to fight corruption, money laundering

RemittancesA three-day capacity building workshop on anti-corruption and anti-money laundering for state prosecutors and investigators is underway in Koforidua.

The workshop is being supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, said the importance of thorough investigation and prosecution of money laundering cases was imperative hence the workshop.

She said corruption undermined democracy and the rule of law leading to violation of human rights, organized crime, terrorism and other threats to national security.

According to the Minister, money laundering which is the process of concealing illicit gains generated from criminal activity also eroded public trust in politicians as well as disregard for laws and procedures, which democracy espouses.

The Attorney-General reiterated government’s strong stance on corruption, citing directive that persons found to have misused public funds be prosecuted as in the case of the Auditor General’s report on GYEEDA.

She therefore stressed the importance of the workshop to ensure that prosecutors and investigators in money laundering and corruption cases conduct thorough investigations before dockets are sent to the Attorney-General’s office for effective and expeditious prosecution.

Mr Jeremias Blaser, Deputy Director in charge of Programmes, UNDP, said they viewed corruption as a governance deficit resulting from malfunctioning state institutions due to poor governance which largely created a disproportionate and negative effect on the poor and vulnerable.

He said worldwide one trillion dollars were paid as bribes every year besides worldwide estimates of the extent of embezzlement in the public sector of which Ghana is not an exception.

Mr Blaser said a research conducted by the World Bank revealed that countries that improved on control of corruption and rule of law, could expect in the long run a four-fold increase in incomes per capita that would improve the living condition of the generality of the people.

He noted that Ghana had a widely praised public procurement Act, however since reality was often quite different from theory, it was important to acknowledge that implementation challenges remain.

Mrs Emily Addo-Okyireh, Eastern Regional Principal State Attorney, said the workshop was timely since state prosecutors must set the agenda in curtailing corruption.

Source: GNA

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