A workshop aimed at combating corruption and money laundering is underway in Gaborone where the Commonwealth Africa Anti Corruption Centre (CAACC) in collaboration with Malkara Consulting in Australia are drilling law enforcers on effective financial investigation.
The workshop which commenced on the 12th of September and is expected to conclude on the 23rd, has brought together financial investigators and representatives from Botswana Police Services, Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime(DCEC), Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) and Non-Bank Financial Institution Regulatory Authority and Financial Institution(NBIFIRA).
The workshop’s objective is to meet the needs of anti corruption agencies involved in investigating financial crimes like corruption and money laundering.
Focus areas include identification and reporting of corruption and money laundering, investigation and prosecution of corruption and money laundering and assets forfeiture.
However sub topics of briefs of evidence, financial intelligence profiling, funds and assets tracing techniques, tracing funds offshore will be part of the focus areas.
Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Director General-Operations at DCEC, Priscilla Israel, said corruption should be shunned since it has shattering consequences on growth.
“It undermines development of countries and denies average citizens access to services such as good health and education which are basic needs. Africa is bearing huge losses as proceeds of financial crimes are often stashed abroad in bank accounts. Botswana has not been spared from its effects, therefore it is imperative to equip investigators with skills to tackle corruption and lead to successful prosecution, “she said.
According to the latest Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Botswana ranks as a 3rd least corrupt country in Africa and 55th globally.
The figures indicate a decline in international ratings and further paints a gloomy picture of rising corruption levels in the country.
For his part CAACC Centre Manager, Mogolodi Rantsetse, said the two entities have been working together to design a programme relevant for financial investigators in Botswana Anti-Corruption Agencies. “The fight against corruption calls for concerted efforts hence the need to always bring together investigators to discuss issues of corruption,” he said.