Minister urges ECOWAS to check cross-border crime

Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- Ghana's Minister of Presidential Affairs, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, on Thursday urged members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to prevent cross-border criminal activities from undermining the sub-region's development.
Addressing a seminar organised by the Centre for Democratic Development on "Crime and Security in the West African sub-region" in Accra, he said that crime in one country should be seen as the same in another.
About 60 participants drawn from the Ghanaian Police, Judiciary, Parliament and the Diplomatic Corps, and delegations from Togo and Sierra Leone brainstormed on how to combat rising crime in the sub-region.
Obetsebi-Lamptey, who is also the chief of staff in the presidency, said the sub-region needed a large market for accelerated economic integration, adding that this should not be undermined by cross-border crimes.
He said it was the duty of the citizens to combat crime because "the criminals live somewhere, sleep and spend their booty in the community".
The minister called for the support and mobilisation of resources for good governance, which was a check on the breeding of criminals.
Criminals have been involved in armed robbery, fraud, smuggling and the infamous "419" syndicate, in which unsuspecting people are made to part with huge sums of money after being lured by crooks.
Some of these claim that they are the custodians of huge fortunes of former dictators such as Mobutu Sese Seko and Laurent Kabila of the DR Congo, and Sani Abacha of Nigeria.
West African authorities are also concerned about smuggling of small arms, which are used either to destabilise countries or commit robberies.

13 september 2001 20:28:00




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