Ghana vulnerable to terrorist activities

Ghana BorderAssistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Alphonse Adu-Amankwah, Commandant of the Ghana Police Service Academy, has said Ghana was vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

ACP Adu-Amankwah indicated that, “It would thus be safe to say that Ghana qualifies for terrorist attacks no matter which lens you use to analyze our situation”.

He explained that Ghana seemed to be a country that was a hybrid of the two sets of conditions for terrorist attacks.

He said this on Wednesday when he gave a presentation on the topic ‘Terrorist Financing in Ghana; a mirage or reality’ during a day’s capacity building and awareness creation on money laundering and financing of terrorist activities in Ghana.

The awareness programme was organized by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) in collaboration with the Tema Metropolitan Office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

ACP Adu-Amankwah listed the pre-conditions for terrorism as having a porous border and wide open ungoverned spaces around the vast boundaries, political instability, ethnic and communal violence and widespread poverty.

Other conditions are high rates of unemployment and underemployment, as well as globalization, technological advancement and banking or financial growth.

“We have more than a few of the first set of preconditions; our borders are porous as evidenced by the wide scale smuggling’ we have issues of ethnic and communal violence; we also have widespread poverty. And finally you will admit that we also have relatively high rates of unemployment and underemployment”.

These conditions, he noted, could be exploited by terrorists and terrorist groups or organizations.

He added that in spite of these negative conditions, it was evident that Ghana also has a vibrant and growing banking financial sector, and technological advancement which is obvious as Ghanaians witness mobile phone deployment and the increased use of the internet in both private and public organization usage.

He revealed that a report in the Global Terrorism Database by the University of Maryland indicated that 18 terrorist incidents took place in Ghana between 1985 and 2014.

These 18 incidents of terror, he stated resulted in 19 deaths and 13 casualties in Ghana, adding that, “If the Global Terrorism Database is to be trusted, then our belief in the fact that terrorism has never visited the shore of Ghana is but wishful thinking”.

Dr Albert Gemegah, Dean of the School of Research and Graduate Studies of the Wisconsin International University College, speaking on money laundering, said it was based on one sort of illegal activity or the other.

Dr Gemegah stated the illegal activities as drug trafficking, organized prostitution, illegal arms sales, child exploitation and abuse, smuggling, armed robbery, embezzlement, bribery and corruption as well as tax evasion, and computer fraud schemes.

Money laundering, he noted, undermines economic activities in the private sector as quite often, money launderers used front companies that appear to operate legitimately for their illegal activities.

According to him, the tracking of money laundering could be very difficult, therefore awareness creation and capacity building was a key preventive tool that must be utilized.

Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, in a welcome address, said collective action was needed to eradicate illegal activities that promote terrorism and money laundering. GNA

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