MAPUTO– The Office of the Attorney General of Mozambique (PGR) has launched a five-day training course for prosecutors and members of the Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) to better equip them in the fight against economic and financial crimes, particularly money laundering.

Assistant Attorney-General Amabelia Chuquela, who addressed the opening session of the course here Monday, said it would deal with the investigation techniques needed when dealing with such crimes. Among the matters covered would be tax offences, bank transfers, the ownership of assets and illicit enrichment.

Chuquela said it was the vision of the PGR that prosecutors and criminal investigators should specialise in specific areas so that increasingly we possess the tools that allow us to face organized crime.

She stressed that combating economic crimes was an urgent priority, given the impact they have on the Mozambican economy. She expected commitment from those trained at the seminar to act in a co-ordinated fashion.

Chuquela said some cases of money laundering were before the courts, but gave no further details.

We hope that during this training you will have the opportunity to share experiences that will contribute to excellent intervention in the fight against money laundering and connected financial crimes that are endangering our economy,” she said.

The National Director of Criminal Investigation, Januario Cumbane, said the course would strengthen the methodologies used in criminal investigation, providing the investigators with sufficient skills to allow them to charge suspects, or refrain from charging them when the evidence does not stand up.

He stressed that the matters dealt with in the course are of great importance since they concern the defence of property and investments against criminal assaults.

The Deputy Director of the Legal and Judicial Training Centre (CFJJ), Farida Mamade, said the CFJJ embraced the challenge of this course, which she hoped will allow prosecutors and criminal investigators to undertake their activities with the necessary impartiality, rigour and professionalism.

She added that among those who will speak during the course are the Portuguese Attorney-General, Joana Vidal, and other senior professionals.