The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, has called for stronger actions to deter people who engage in corrupt practices particularly money laundering. She said judges sentencing culprits of money laundering to prison terms was not deterrent enough to curtail the illicit practice which is cross boundary.
“The judiciary’s is expected to impose the necessary deterrent punishment to perpetrators of corruption … allowing money-laundering to flourish and leaving culprits to benefit from their various activity sends a signal that crime pays it is therefore not sufficiently deterrent to only sentence convicts of money laundering to jail,” she said.
Ms Akuffo said tracing, seizing and recovering the assets of money launderers in addition to imprisonment will ensure the illegal practice is unpopular. She was speaking at the International Forum on Asset Recovery and Money Laundering organized by the EU in collaboration with anti-corruption institutions in the country as part of the anti-corruption week activities.
The Attorney General said undoubtedly actions against corruption has increased in recent times, adding that according to World Bank an estimated $20 million to $40 billion dollars which is equivalent to 20% to 40% of World Bank development assistance stolen every year through high-level corruption from developing country and hidden overseas.
She observed that stronger partnership between government and stakeholders is needed to enhance anti-corruption as the process of tracing and retrieving of assets can be cumbersome.
“There is a consensus within the international community that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to corruption. In order to combat corruption, nations must take preventive measures and educate the public and enforce state laws including investigation, prosecution and application of sanctions in order that corrupt persons do not enjoy their ill-gotten wealth,” she explained.
She said government in its bid to fight corruption has developed a 10-year anti-corruption plan which a national framework for anti-corruption activity aimed at improving integrity, transparency and accountability in all sectors of the society.
EU Ambassador, Diana Acconcia said the sheer magnitude of the illicit financial flows coupled with the rapid pace and complexity of international transactions make international legal cooperation a pivotal component rule of law in any given country.
She said the rapid technological changes coupled with the fast pace of globalization of economic transactions, make corruption, international financial crimes, money laundering and recovery of assets challenging endeavours of States.
“In this regard, it is vital for national institutions not only to be firmly grounded in the international security and justice architecture, but to constantly review and document the international and national best practices and innovative solutions to an ever-changing phenomenon such as corruption,” she added.