11 Dec ‘Gov’t places high premium on fight against Transnational Organised Crime’
By Sulayman Waan
With a view to mitigate crime impact on Gambian society, Siaka Sonko, Minister of Interior has said that the Gambia government has placed a high premium on the fight against Transnational Organised Crime.
Representing Minister Sonko at the closing of the Asset Recovery Intergancy Network for West Africa (ARINWA) Annual General Meeting, Gibril Ngorr Secka, Deputy Director General of Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia (DLEAG) added that organised crime is inimical to development and can potentially frustrate the human development aspirations of nations.
“Evidently, the attainment of SDG 16 will be seriously challenged, if organised crime is not put under control,” he warned.
He went on to say that as a result of the vices of Transnational Organised Criminal groups and their alliances sustainable socio-economic development of states is under threat; political stability faces historical vulnerability and global security speedily undermined.
“We are legally justified to fight back, we cannot subdue, and our option is only one, the option to confront with steady and sustained effort and mechanism. We have a responsibility to salvage society, a moral and legal responsibility that cannot and will not be discounted,” he said.
He describe the impact of organised crime on the African economy as grave, noting the continent looses about 3.7 percent of its Gross Domestic Product annually in illicit financial flows.
“Transnational organized crime is fuelling corruption and has triggered a dramatic surge of conflicts and petite crimes in West Africa,” he said.
However, he said that authorities must work together to defeat the criminals gangs.
“Our collective objective as a community of nations is to not only disrupt the activities of organised crime groups but ultimately dismantle them.”
He said to dismantle organized criminal networks, there is a need for strengthening international cooperation through promoting information and intelligence sharing as well as closer coordination among law enforcement agencies within the sub-region and beyond.
He said The Gambia has highly demonstrated political will towards global efforts against organized crimes, justifying that the country’s domestication and implementation of relevant UN conventions such as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the three drug Conventions and various ECOWAS instruments are a testimony to government commitment.
Moving forward on the country political will, he said President Barrow has directed for the law enforcement agencies to pursue and sign bilateral and multilateral agreements with counterparts around the world to facilitate international cooperation in criminal investigation.
Jacinto do Canto, President for ARINWA commended the Gambia government for providing all the needed resources in the course of the three days annual general meeting.
This, he said, is a clear manifestation of The Gambia government commitment and willingness to combat transnational organized crime.