First OECD Africa Regional Conference for Law Enforcement Officers

South Africa through the DPSA Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (PAEIDTAU) in partnership with the National Prosecution Authority is hosting the African Law Enforcement officials (AFR LEO) meeting in Tshwane, South Africa from 15 to 17 November 2022.

The African countries represented by their Law enforcement practitioners in attendance are Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

The meeting is conducted by the Anti-Corruption Division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It brings together anti-corruption law enforcement practitioners from key countries in Africa and other relevant stakeholders.

Adv Xolisile Khanyile, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Centre, in her opening address said, “To tackle corruption, the government on its own cannot win the fight against financial crime.

“Government needs to establish an open, honest and trusting relationship through public-private partnerships. In so doing, we needed to collectively agree on the terms of the engagement, set out the basic principles and guidelines of the partnership, identify a lead partner and establish a secretariat to administer day-to-day administration.”

Adv Khanyile summarised the support role provided by the OECD Anti-Corruption Division and provided a brief report on the South African Anti-Money Laundering Integrated Taskforce (SAMLIT).

The SAMLIT is a financial information-sharing partnership between the banking sector and the public sector in South Africa which is strategically positioned to help detect, prevent and disrupt financial crime.

Adv Khanyile reported on the success of the collaboration between SAMLIT and the public-public Fusion Centre collaborative multi-agency hub that included:
1. 59 preservation and/or restraint orders obtained;
2. Suspected criminal assets forfeited and/or confiscated to the value of R5 billion;
3. 45 affidavits issued in support of asset seizures and criminal prosecutions;
4. 258 accounts were identified to have received proceeds of crime;
5. 3 793 reactive and proactive financial intelligence reports disseminated; and
6. 38 natural persons or entities were found guilty and sentenced in 19 criminal prosecutions.

She said it is encouraging to see the African Region countries showing interest and willingness to join the fight for the continent!

David Coonan of the United States Embassy responsible for the Transactional Anti-Corruption Partnership and Elsa Gopala-Krishnan of the OECD further delivered welcoming remarks and outlined the plan for the meeting.

From 15 to 16 November 2022, the meeting will focus on detecting and investigating corruption in emergencies, emerging technologies for law enforcement, international cooperation, inter-agency coordination, and opportunities for networking.

The sessions will also provide information on the work of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, as well as the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

The meeting will be followed by a morning field trip (Thursday, 17 November 2022) organised by South Africa, showcasing the Fusion Centre at the Financial Intelligence Centre offices. This will provide participants with an opportunity to learn more about the Fusion Centre and its participating agencies.