Law Enforcement Agencies Trained on Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery

COMESA has commenced another round of trainings for law enforcement agencies on Financial Investigation and Asset Recovery (FIAR) following requests by some Member States namely Ethiopia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The FIAR trainings have been necessitated by the sophistication of financial crimes which are ever-increasing with the advancement in technology and penetration propelled by globalisation. This has made financial crimes a trans-national threat.

The complexity in the operations of financial criminals also makes it complicated to recover ill-gotten assets and wealth.

Given these developments among others, it has become necessary for the different units responsible for Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery to be equipped with skills that match current trends and developments in Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing among others, says COMESA Governance Peace and Security Early Warning Analyst Mr Tapera Henry Chinemhute.

Speaking in Zimbabwe, Chinemhute, said the trainings will assist the law enforcement agencies to be more effective in operations, procedures and enforcement of FIAR in line with national legislation and international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Standards.

Zimbabwe is the first country in this second round of series to receive the training which began on Monday 10 July 2023 and is being attended by various stakeholders from the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Revenue Authority, various units from the national police such as the Criminal Investigations Department, Drugs and Narcotics, Commercial Crimes Department and the Assets Forfeiture Unit.

In November 2022 stakeholders in Rwanda went through a similar training while the first introductory regional training on FIAR was held in Zimbabwe in October 2022. Other countries to follow are Uganda and Ethiopia from 17 – 21 July and 24 – 28 July 2023, respectively.

Representatives of selected COMESA countries will also participate in the trainings as a way of enhancing regional cooperation among the Member States given the transnational nature of financial crimes.