Forensic Investigation Key in Solving Financial Crimes

It is essential that modern forensic investigative approaches are adopted so that cases of unlawful activities are proven in court and proceeds from crime are seized. Speaking during the closure of the financial investigation and asset recovery workshop held in Mbabane, the National Commissioner of Police who was represented by Deputy National Commissioner Mamsie Dlamini said the training of the officers is instrumental in the organisation’s roadmap on new approaches to deal with the ever-emerging cases of economic related crimes. Delivering her speech, she said there was a need to engage modern strategies in the investigating criminal activities such as theft (embezzlement), drug trafficking, corruption, human trafficking, fraud, so that they can be prosecutable in the court of law. Financial crimes are mostly complex hence the application of advanced scientific approaches to investigation ensures that there is minimal contact with suspects before arrests are effected. The training was attended by a group of thirty officers, comprising of members of the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) while others were from Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Dlamini said such training interventions are instrumental with regards to expanding skills and capacity of the ACC and REPS human capital. Having such training endeavours, will contribute towards efforts to formulate practical strategies with a value change attitude and a customer-oriented performance.

The National Commissioner expressed REPS’s profound gratitude to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) together with the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Southern Africa (ARINSA) for the unwavering support and cooperation in upskilling officers with trainings. He said the amicable cooperation with the development partners does not only benefit the Kingdom of Eswatini but its key organs as well. Dlamini said the Police Service appreciated good partnerships that offer to improve contemporary responses in line with the available legal frameworks towards the fight against financially and economically related criminal activities. “We give assurance that such partnerships and cooperation will not cease but be cemented to grow in leaps and bounds.” Dlamini said that now that the officers have been empowered, they are expected to be more effective, efficient and professional in executing their duties. He urged the officers to remain determined in their quest to root out criminal activity and must continue to be robust and resolute. He said the officers were expected to apply themselves in all areas where financial criminal activities have been detected, to ensure that statistics of such are alleviated, and all illegally acquired proceeds are recovered. The officer were further urged to uphold the virtue of honesty and integrity, so that their organisations continue to have a good image and continue to relish the goodwill and confidence of the public.

He implored the  officers to desist from engaging in criminal and corrupt practices as well as anti – social practices such as being involved in violent and aggressive behaviour not only in their households but also within the communities they serve. The event was also joined virtually by other stakeholders who are beyond the borders who expressed the importance of the upscaling of financial investigation skills in officers as it is key to the solving of the financial crime cases. They emphasized that also the forfeiture of asserts gained through crime was important as if this was not addressed, such proceeds go on to fund other illicit activities.