|Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko|
By STANDARD REPORTER
Nairobi, Kenya: The role of multinational corporations in corporate financial crimes such as tax evasion and avoidance has taken the centre stage at the on-going third International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) regional conference in Zambia.
The five-day conference featuring key national prosecutors drawn from the African and Indian Ocean Region including Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has expressed concern at the growing cases of corporate financial crimes, particularly those perpetrated by multinational corporations.
Featuring delegates from more than 21 African countries, the conference is titled: “Getting a fair bargain for Africa and the developing world: The role of the Prosecutor in combating corporate financial crime including tax evasion and environmental degradation in the extractive and other significant industries”.
Speaking when he chaired a plenary session on tax crimes committed by multinational corporations in the extractive industry, Mr Tobiko noted that the robust administration of national and international laws would need to be applied to curb rampant tax evasion and avoidance cases.
The role of financial and non-financial professionals in facilitating tax crimes and illicit financial flows, Tobiko added, cannot be understated as some of the crimes routinely bear traces of professional fraud necessitating forensic examinations.
The DPP expressed regret that lack of specialist prosecutorial personnel had emboldened unscrupulous multinational corporations to an extent of wantonly committing financial crimes.
“As prosecutors, we must now raise the bar in assessing these crimes through the lens of new generation financial crime investigation procedures, which may also require partnering with forensic experts to assist in evidence gathering,” Tobiko said in the Zambian city of Livingstone.