According to the President, the link between transnational organised crime and terrorism was a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, posing a concrete threat to international peace and development of states.
Mr. Dominic Ntiwul (third from right) with some digniteries inspecting some equipment at the exhibition stands. Photo Geoffrey Buta
President Akufo-Addo said this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening ceremony of a two day International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEC) 2022 at Burma Camp, Accra and was under the theme “strengthening international collaboration to combat terrorism and transnational organised crimes.”
The two-day event brought together delegates from the top hierarchy of Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies, academia, military solution providers and other stakeholders in the defence industry from Africa and beyond.
Also present were international security experts and over 60 exhibitors from across the globe.
The event was aimed at deliberating on the growing threat of terrorism and other transnational crimes that posed significant security concerns in the region and adopt strategies to comprehensively address the emerging security concern.
President Akufo-Addo said there were close linkages between terrorism and criminal groups, whose main agenda was to exploit porous borders and weak governments hence the need to ensure effective and efficient international and regional cooperation in dealing with criminal matters related to terrorism.
“Establishing strong cooperation agreements among member states worldwide will help facilitate request for mutual legal assistance and extradition which plays an important part in the prosecution of cases transcending national borders,” he said.
He mentioned that the use of electronic surveillance, undercover operations and use of informants had proven to be effective techniques that had assisted investigative agencies to combat organised crime and transnational crimes.
“We need to develop and strengthen legislation to criminalise the laundering of proceeds of crime, train officials and increase the ability to identify and interdict cross-border transportation of illegal cash or other negotiable instruments as a major step in stopping organised crime in the sub-region and the world at large,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He explained that tackling the insecurities in the sub region was of urgent importance to the government of Ghana considering the fact that most of the factors hindering the continent’s economic development included public borrowing, trade deficit, military expenditure, low level of technological innovation, political turbulences and corruption.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, said in order to achieve the aim of the event there was the need for a multi-dimensional strategy that safeguards citizens, breaks the financial strength of criminals and terrorist networks.
He also indicated that there was the need for an approach that disrupts illicit traffic networks, defeats transnational crime organisations, fights corruption, strengthens the rule of law, bolsters judicial systems and improves transparency.
The CDS mentioned that the first day of the event would focus on terrorism and transnational organised crimes and while today would be for open discussions on initiatives to counter-terrorism and transnational organised crimes at an offsite location which would be hosted separately by the various Service Chiefs of the Ghana Armed Forces.