Chief Justice Martha Koome urges regional countries to collaborate in fight against Transnational Organised Crime.

Chief Justice Martha Koome on Tuesday urged regional countries to collaborate and unite in the fight against Transnational Organised Crime.

Speaking as she opened regional symposium on transnational organized crimes and illicit financial flows, Koome said the said organised crime has been destabilizing the economy of the regions.

She said the war on transnational organized crimes which include human trafficking, cybercrime, wildlife poaching among others can only be won if the regional countries agree to work together and cooperate in fighting the crime.

Koome said the illicit financial flows deprive governments of much-needed resources for public services, development and poverty reduction saying it also facilitates the accumulation of wealth and power by criminal networks, and corrupt public officials.

The CJ further said that transnational Organized Crime is not a new phenomenon but its manifestations, agility, and resilience in this digital age are unprecedented, adding that in an interconnected world, crimes that were once considered local are no longer confined to national boundaries.

While mentioning a few such as cybercrime to human trafficking, from money laundering to environmental crime, she said that the world and the continent is grappling with a hydra-headed monster that morphs and evolves to circumvent efforts by law enforcement agencies to combat.

“These illicit financial flows, involving the movement of money or assets that are illegally earned, transferred or used across borders, are often carried out in tandem with crimes such as tax evasion, trade mis-invoicing, bribery, embezzlement, fraud and other crimes,” Koome said.

She gave an example of a case where around 200 Ethiopians were arrested while being trafficked through Nairobi and after being taken to a court in Machakos, the court ordered for their deportation, but they could not deport them since they could not buy tickets for the 200 Ethiopians.

“The Inspector General of Police had to look for buses for the Ethiopians to be transported to Moyale after they went on hunger strike while in the cells. After they were taken to Moyale, they were to cross over to their country. Am sure there could be some who are already back in Kenya,” Koome said.

The symposium is being held at a Mombasa hotel and some of the delegates include judges and other judicial officers from Kenya and Ethiopia.



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