Increase in financial crimes pose new threat
By Adolf Kaure.
Attorney General, Festus Mbandeka said that financial crimes pose a unique challenge to smaller countries like Namibia due their recent increase in number when he spoke at the opening of the five-day Prosecutors Conference which started on Monday 25 September in Swakopmund.
The conference is being held to discuss how to attain efficiency and effectiveness in the prosecution of crimes.
“It is no secret that we do not always have the necessary capacity and legal frameworks in place to facilitate swift cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, extradition, and or evidential cooperation in criminal matters with other jurisdictions.
“Therefore, we must strengthen our criminal justice systems to be able to deal with these complex and fast-growing crimes,” said Mbandeka.
Other crimes on the increase include cybercrimes and similar crimes in the digital space and other types of organised crimes.
The High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa estimates that about US$50 to US$60 billion leave Africa each year through illicit financial flows.
“This is an alarming statistic and have the potential to undermine and hinder much socio-economic development on the continent.”
“We must therefore keep up with the times and capacitate ourselves to deal with these emerging challenges while enhancing our cooperation with other countries particularly those who have the propensity to be safe havens for illicit financial flows,” he said.
Despite the government not always providing the necessary resources to fund training and educational programmes, the are other capacity building opportunities which can help prosecutors gain knowledge and the skills needed in prosecuting and reducing crimes. The programmes include peer-to-peer learning and online platforms.
The five-day conference concludes on Friday.
Prosecutors from across Namibia have gathered for a conference in Swakopmund. (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)