June 1, GNA – Mr Benjamin Ndego, a criminologist, has called for concurrent investigations and prosecution of Transnational Organized Crimes (TOC) with money laundering to enable relevant institutions to recover proceeds of such crimes.
Mr Ndego, who is also an Expert in Organized Crime and Money Laundering, said the current practice of institutions focusing only on predicated crimes before going to tackle money laundering would give the perpetrators enough time to divert the monies and cover them up.
He made the call during the ongoing two-week Maritime Security and Transnational Organized Crime (MSTOC) programme organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with support from the German Government.
He said that the proceeds of all TOCs activities such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling, and terrorism, among others, end up in money laundering.
He said it was a vicious cycle in which the crime generated monies that needed to be laundered as a way to avoid detection, and those monies were then used to sponsor more crimes to generate higher proceeds.
“Arresting people and jailing them without collecting the monies involved in the proceedings is just a waste of time and national resources, as they go and come back to enjoy the money they made from those crimes,” he said.
Mr Ndego said the criminals wash their dirty monies by initially injecting the illegal cash into banks or security companies and sometimes transforming it into other assets, and they also remove the monies far from the location of acquisition to avoid detection.
He said they lay the money through its conversion into monetary instruments such as bonds and also sell the initial assets acquired.
The criminologist said the last part of the money laundering involved integrating it into real estate, buying properties, and buying loss-making enterprises, among others.
Touching on the types of money laundering, he said some laundered the monies through third parties who were not involved in the committing of the crimes, whiles some do self-laundering as well as standing alone.
He said some of the features of money laundering were having monies from a criminal origin, with the aim of obscuring the origin while making the funds appear legitimate, using front companies, strawmen, and philanthropic activities, and co-mingling the money as a cover.