Financial Crimes

It is estimated that countries and businesses in the region are losing millions of dollars in revenue owing to financial crimes and various forms of fraud schemes related to insurance, securities, banking, taxation and corruption among others. Emerging crimes in this sector include CEO fraud also known as Business Email Compromise and various other forms of social engineering frauds.

The growth of broad band internet connectivity and technological infrastructure coupled with increased technical knowledge, easy access to mobile devices and subscription to social media and other online platforms have further made these crimes more complex and difficult to detect, investigate and prosecute.

Perhaps no other financial crime deserves the attention of all authorities in the region more than money laundering. Money laundering is what feeds into and fuels all sectors of organized criminal enterprises. As nearly all organized crimes are premised on profits, it is important that all countries enact proper mechanisms to address money laundering.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge displays some of the new look shilling Kenyan currency notes on June 3, 2019 during a press conference at his office in Nairobi. - The unveiling of the new Kenyan bank notes has been greeted by some with disapproval, with Kenyans taking exception to the use of an image of a statue of the founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta printed on the notes. According to the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, notes and coins shall not bear the portrait of any individual. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

It is encouraging to note that most countries in the region have enacted anti-money laundering and proceeds of crime legislation a key instrument in the fight against all forms of organized crime. With the support of Financial Intelligence Units, an important agency with the mandate to report suspicious transaction and suspicious financial activities, countries are better positioned to address all forms of financial crimes including money laundering and financing of terrorism.

The EAPCCO Council of Police Chiefs has enacted a number of resolutions aimed at building member countries’ capacity to address these crimes and promoting regional cooperation as money and other illicitly acquired assets can be easily moved across multiple jurisdictions. It is also important and necessary that countries join the Egmont group of Financial Intelligence Units a multi-jurisdictional information sharing platform.

In this respect INTERPOL and a number of EU projects (EU-AML/CFT and EU-AML/THB) have been instrumental in building capacity to counter financial crimes.