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12 October 2016

INTERPOL training in West Africa to combat money laundering and terrorism financing

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire – Developing law enforcement skills to prevent money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism is the focus of a new INTERPOL training programme for West Africa.

During the first in a series of activities, some 25 customs and immigration officers at key border points and National Central Bureaus from seven countries - Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo – took part in a mixture of both classroom and practical exercises.

Participants received training in international standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, identifying bulk cash smuggling, and evidence collection, preservation and presentation techniques.

Practical exercises during the training held at INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau for West Africa in Abidjan included identifying fraudulent travel documents and luggage search techniques.

The course is part of the INTERPOL Capacity Building Programme to Combat Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism in West Africa, funded by the Canadian government, which is also aimed at encouraging greater inter-agency cooperation.

"Canada is proud to be associated with this training. All countries are affected by the themes it addresses and we must continue to cooperate to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and international crimes which transcend national borders,” said Patricia McCullagh, Canadian Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire.

Head of INTERPOL’s Anticorruption and Financial Crimes unit which is leading the training, Jim Anderson, said: “Money laundering and other illicit profits destabilize economies, threatening both the security and the development of West African countries. With this new INTERPOL project, we will provide training to support law enforcement agencies in the region to effectively combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.”

To encourage greater cross-agency collaboration, the programme is being delivered with the support of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC ) Regional Office for West Africa.

Future activities which will be delivered as part of the programme include a specialized training course and a regional workshop.