Laundering dirty money from the drug trade and other international illegal activities is now here. Although it has been here for sometime, today it has now gathered momentum with the players visiting most of the tricks of the industry in their operations locally.
It is a modern trend in a sophisticated world fueled by social media and beyond the imagination of the uninitiated. It requires a large capital outlay to contain and in our part of the world, calls for external assistance in both resources and capacity-building.
The crime, because of its sophisticated nature, is hardly mentioned let alone subjected to scrutiny for effective tackling and the reason is simple: it is beyond many of our cops and involves very rich persons who made and continue to make their money through the illegality.
Amenable bank officials, law enforcement officers, in some instances, and owners of microfinance companies, are involved in the complex network with foreign bases. The facades of some businesses with seemingly little activities going on in them and others the contrary, are conduits of the dirty monies. By the time they pass through these companies, they are sufficiently laundered to elude capture – unleashed unto the mainstream economy with its attendant challenges.
Even in advanced systems such as the US and European countries, those involved in the illegality are quick to unleash fresh ploys to outwit eagle-eyed detectives trained in the art of identifying the movement of dirty monies.
In a system such as ours where there is dearth of knowledge of the crime, we should not expect a solution to the crime anytime soon especially as we are more concerned with simple infractions.
We are aware though about how occasionally the subject comes up for discussion in some security circles but these are not pursued for reasons as mentioned in earlier paragraphs.
We can state that money laundering is taking place in the country today and unless our law enforcement apparatus is appraised with the necessary knowledge about what it entails through effective capacity building, it would not be long before we start suffering the fallouts from the international crime.
There is an unhealthy correlation between drug pushing and money laundering. Those engaged in it would do all that they can to protect their criminal turf. Such players are ready to pay anything for this protection and can count on the vulnerability of bad officials in the banking industry and law enforcement system.
We can count on the support of countries which have made inroads in tracking down the money laundering criminals because such success would be in their own interest. The war against drugs, which is currently on, cannot be won without opening a formidable front against money laundering – the two comparable to a set of Siamese twins.