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Ministry of Justice Held Regional Meeting on Combating Organized Crimes

The Gambia Government, through the Ministry of Justice on Monday, 12th June 2023 hosted a four-day regional ministerial meeting on combating transnational organized crime at the Sir Dawda Jawara International Conference Centre, Bijilo.

The event marks the 12th plenary meeting of the focal points of the West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP), against transnational organized crime focused on the topic ‘Role of the Central Authorities in the Fight against Organized Crime.’

Participants included Justice Ministers, key justice actors, focal persons from the ECOWAS, the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), and the WACAP coordinating team as well as representatives from Mauritania and Chad.

The meeting discussed collaboration among countries in the fight against transnational organized crime through the exchange of information and intelligence to effectively address and counter the threats posed by cross-border criminal networks.

In his remark, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Honorable Dawda A. Jallow said, the WACAP network plays a critical role in facilitating the exchange of mutual legal assistance requests through informal platforms and focal points, which has drastically reduced reliance on the lengthy diplomatic channels.

Minister Jallow also reported that as part of the ministry’s transitional justice program, with assistance from the UNODC, the Gambia has successfully developed its first Mutual Legal Assistance Bill, which was passed by the National Assembly and now awaits the President’s assent before officially becoming a law.

He went further to express gratitude to UNODC for providing the Gambia with the much needed technical and material support, through its WACAP network, saying the Gambia has benefited greatly from the training as prosecutors and law enforcement officers were exposed to new skills and knowledge on combating transnational organized crimes.

“The Gambia remains dedicated to fulfilling its international and regional commitment to effectively combat transnational organized crime through thorough investigations, prosecutions, and the provision of assistance to countries in need of the prosecution of such crimes,” he concluded.