Corrupt Cameroonians linked to terrorist financing

Large sums of money in Cameroon flow through individuals to support terrorist activities, an official study has shown.
The 2013 Anti-Corruption Status Report released Wednesday reveals big sums in foreign currency used to sponsor terrorism in the northern part of the country.
The 218-page report, which is a collaboration with the National Agency for Financial Investigation (NAFI) and foreign agencies, identifies Cameroonian individuals abroad “recognised as financial sponsors of terrorist groups”.
In 2013, NAFI informed the judicial authorities of alarming cases of handling of “very large sums of foreign currency by some individuals in the northern part of the country,” the report said.
Money laundering
The Boko Haram jihadist insurgency in northern Nigeria has since 2013, expanded into Cameroon.
The revelations in the report will confirm repeated allegations by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, that “Boko Haram is amongst us”.
According to the report, terrorist financing flourishes in Cameroon because of money laundering in sectors such as mining, real estate, manual money exchange and NGOs.
“No sector in Cameroon was spared of fraud in 2013, considering the multi-faceted nature as well as the diverse and varying phenomenon of corruption,” said the chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Cameroon, the Rev Dieudonne Massi Gams.
The scourge
The report, which was the fourth since the commission’s inception, revealed that graft was widespread despite efforts to stamp out the scourge.
“The year witnessed the growth of more sophisticated corruption techniques which in their various proliferated forms, impede the country’s socio-economic development,” said the Rev Massi Gams.
Unlike previous editions, the 2013 Anti-Corruption Status Report veiled the names of suspected embezzlers.
Corruption has remained entrenched in Cameroon for decades despite President Paul Biya’s purported anti-graft campaign when he came to power in in 1982.
The declaration
Cameroon has thrice been named the world’s most corrupt country on the Transparency International’s perception index: in 1998, 1999 and 2007.
The problem has been blamed on the lack of laws and non-implementation of existing legislation.
“The adoption of an anti-corruption law and the application of the provisions of [clauses of] the constitution relating to the declaration of property and assets would also give a more decisive weight to the anti-corruption drive in our country,” the Rev Massi Gams said.