Security experts call for mutual legal assistance to combat graft

Mutual Legal Assistance and international cooperation are key in investigation and prosecution of criminals, conference hears

Abu Dhabi: A practice called Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) combined with international cooperation is key to investigating and prosecuting criminals so country-to-country coordination is a must, experts told the International Anti-Corruption Day conference in the capital on Wednesday.

Security experts said working together is needed to combat corruption and money-laundering cases in order to bring criminals to justice.

Abu Dhabi Police organised the event to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day.

Speaking to media, Major-General Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, said: “Together we will be fighting corruption and we need to cooperate with other countries and exchange expertise to limit the spread of corruption. We have the responsibility of cracking down on the nexus between such criminals and we are doing that in the UAE,” he said.

Awareness about such crimes and criminal activities among the community as well as among public and private sector employees is vital.

“We continue to take different kinds of initiatives to ensure safety and security among society to stop the spread of criminal activities in the UAE,” Al Rumaithi said.

Speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of the event, Laure Du Castillon, adviser, international economics, Belgium, said the major challenge today is different country-to-country legal procedures, language barriers and the MLA (Mutual Legal Assistance) requests because it takes too much time.

“The important challenge is to win the time and exchange criminal records that help resolve the case quickly,” Castillon said. “Police-to-police and prosecutor-to-prosecutor contacts play a key role in determining the cases. We have to further enhance trust among countries to strengthen cooperation.”

Dozen cases of bribery a month

More than a dozen cases of bribery are reported to the police’s Anti-Corruption Department of the emirate of Abu Dhabi each month, an officer told Gulf News on Wednesday.

Ebrahim Al Darei of the Anti-Corruption Section, said, “Whenever a person bribes and misuses his position, he snatches the rights of other common people. At that point, the person destroys his integrity in front of his employees, colleagues and family.

“Generally, we get bribe cases where a person misuses his power, position, and bribes to get his things done.”

He urged people to report any cases of suspected bribery by calling 8002626.

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