Tech has increased prosecution of transnational crimes – Chief Justice
Mr Kwesi Anin Yeboah, Chief Justice of Ghana, has emphasized that the issuance of digitisation into the trial procedure has dwindled prosecution of transnational criminal cases with access to videos and footages.
He said, “The advent of E-technology also meant that nationally there is the ability to conduct trials and take evidence by video link, flash drives, CCTV footage, emails. VCD, DVD etc”.
He made mention of this in his keynote address delivered on his behalf by Justice Nene Abayatie Offei Amegatcher of Supreme Court of Ghana during the opening of the Second Annual Attorney Generals Alliance – Africa (AGA-Africa) Conference in Accra.
The two-day conference was dubbed, “Tackling the Reality of Transnational Crime in Africa,” This brought stakeholders together to resolve the modern trends in transnational crime and measures to address such cases across the boundaries. He stressed that Ghana’s legislative arsenal was adapting to resolve transnational criminal cases, with the current intervention being the Anti-Money Laundering Bill to enhance the current Anti-Money Laundering Act 2008 (Act 749).
He said that compliance to a homogenous regime in legislation and ensuring that domestic legislation was responsive to the ever-changing face of transnational crime, ratification of international conventions focused on combating the harm of transnational crime would strengthen cooperation between state parties and crime prevention institutions.
In continuation, he stated that the adoption of a single vision and method were some of the feasible initiatives to be considered by African states in addressing the spectre of transnational crime.
He stressed that transnational planned crimes were cross-boundary in nature which consisted of illegal activities such as cybercrime, drug trafficking, environmental crime, smuggling of cultural artefacts, wildlife, crime and weapons trafficking. Mr Godfred Yeboah Odame, Deputy Attorney General Ghana, said that digitisation has generally improved lives around the world and its significance was not missing on criminal organizations.
He said, “It has resulted in what I term organised criminal exploitation of digital technology”.
In addition, he said that modern transnational criminals have taken advantage of globalisation, trade liberalisation and new technologies to investigate various crimes to move money, goods, services, and people at the same time with reason of committing violence and other crimes, even for political ends.
He stressed that modernisation has improved international trade through the widespread deregulation the world has encountered since the 1980s, which has permitted illegal criminals to launder the process of crime easily.
He emphasized that it was pointed out by the leadership of G8 long ago in a statement issued in 1998 that, “globalisation has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in transnational crime”.
He stressed that this did not only pose harm to only inhabitants and their communities but prevented the democratic world economic basis of societies through the unauthorized monetary investment by international cartels, corruption, damaging of institutions and lack of trust in the rule of law.
He emphasized that the monetary crimes, corruption and its associated offences – money laundering and illegal financial flows indicate the most terrible and immediate transnational offences Africa was facing.