CROSS BORDER CRIMES AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF ECOWAS MEMBER STATES

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CROSS BORDER CRIMES AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF ECOWAS MEMBER STATES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Over the years various activities across the borders of ECOWAS member states have hindered sustainable economic growth and
development in the Union (Orji, 2008 :?) Activities such as bunkering, terrorism, smuggling of banned items, drug trafficking, human
trafficking and prostitution do not encourage socio-economic growth in developing nations such as Nigeria, Ghana, and Togo etc.
The desire to build a vibrant and sound economy is the desire of every patriotic ECOWAS member. This desire can be demonstrated through
total elimination or reduction of cross border crimes, and other activities that may hamper the success of free trade policies currently
formulated by the economic union.
Cross border crime represents a number of illegal and notorious activities carried out by individuals and groups across national and
international borders, either for financial or economic benefits also socio political cum religious considerations. It is a set of criminal acts
whose perpetrators and repercussions go beyond territorial borders (Owolabi, 2009: 23).
Cross border crimes include human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, arms smuggling or trafficking of weapons, international
terrorism, illegal oil bunkering, illicit trafficking in diamonds, business fraud, to mention but these notable few.Organized criminal groups
carry out their illicit activities using major technological tools such as information networks, the financial system and other
sophisticated means, while other crude methods include concealing banned items from one country to the other, human trafficking and
major oil bunkering activities with speed boats and vessels.
Some cabals involved in cross border crimes also take advantage of differences in legislation, legal systems and traditions,which often
seriously hamper state efforts to respond adequately to the threat of organized or cross border crimes.
Ortuno and Wiriyachai (2009: 56) have maintained that the past few years have been characterized by a significant increase in global
criminal activities such as money laundering, trafficking in human and nuclear technology and material, the trade in human organs and
migrant smuggling. At the same time, emerging crimes such as modern piracy, and trafficking in toxic waste, counterfeit medicines,
precious metals or natural resources have been added to the list of traditional illegal activities such as prostitution, drug trafficking and arms
trafficking. Most recently,cross national crime has increased in scope and is characterized by increasingly global reach, involved in multiple
forms of criminal activity, expanding criminal markets to include large-scale financial fraud and cyber-crime. And the syndicates are willing
to protect their activities through violent and ruthless means, linked to international terrorist groups and devising novel and notorious
organizational strategies to deter capture (Luna 2008).
In Nigeria, the dimension of these criminal activities has increased. The emergence of militancy in the Niger Delta, and the spade of
kidnappings have created serious problems of insecurity. This is however done in connivance with security agencies. This situation is
scaring to foreign and local investors and impinges seriously on the socio-economic development of society Drug trafficking like its twin
sister, money laundering, has economic effect on developing economies also. It places increasing demands on the public health services and
the society at large. These increasing demands and strains come in different forms,these will include serious epidemic like HIV/AIDS. The
United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that along the cocaine trafficking route,numbers of users and cases of HIV/AIDS is
distinctly higher.It is also noted that a number of youths are involved in Drug trafficking and the implication is that these youths stay out of
school. Education, especially education being made available to the poor, is key to development in the way that it empowers people. This
research intends to investigate and appraise cross -border crimes and its effect on the economy of Nigeria.

CROSS BORDER CRIMES AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF ECOWAS MEMBER STATES

CROSS BORDER CRIMES AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF ECOWAS MEMBER STATES