By Adedapo Adesanya
The Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with Interpol are set to partner on maritime security through a special project tagged Project AGWE.
This project will involve Nigeria and other African countries majorly, Ivory Coast, Togo, Ghana and Benin Republic working together to rid each country against economic sabotage present in the maritime environment.
This was made known by the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, alongside Anastasia Kirillas, Interpol’s Analyst and leader of Interpol’s delegation, during a working visit to the EFCC headquarters over the weekend.
Speaking on what the programme entailed, Anastasia Kirillas noted that the essence of “Project AGWE” is for the designated countries to work together and encourage cooperation and broader intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies across national borders.
The project, according to the Interpol representative, is also set to assist the Commission in investigation and capacity building alongside strengthening the capacities of law enforcement agencies in the West African sub-region.
According to Kirillas, the alliance will lead to improved capacity building, mentoring, and the equipping of law enforcement agencies in the designated countries with tools to preserve crime scenes, and collection and exploitation of evidences.\
She further revealed that the United States Department of State backed programme will strengthen West African regional capabilities in maritime security, through the exploitation of evidence and intelligence in the region, and building stronger relationship in the light of the expanding criminal networks within the region’s maritime environment.
On his part, the EFCC Chief, Magu observed the need for improved regional and international cooperation between Nigeria and other countries in terms of intelligence sharing and gathering, noting that information was key in carrying out criminal investigations.
He said that a seamless flow of information among regional and international law enforcement agencies was needed to confront the expanding frontiers of economic crimes.
While expressing his deep appreciation of Interpol’s assistance to the commission, he noted that cooperation between the commission and Interpol has been beneficial to both parties.
Through such cooperation, the commission was able to nab a suspect in a case of money laundering to the tune of €650,000.
As a result of the arrest, the EFCC, was also able to secure an interim forfeiture of several property of the suspect to the federal government, while presently prosecuting him at a Federal High Court in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State.
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