Sierra Leone is a country located on the southwest coast of West Africa. Once a British colony that was heavily implicated in the transatlantic slave trade, the country’s modern history has been characterised by a number of health and political crises, from a 10-year civil war that ended in 2002 and the Ebola outbreak of 2014, to the latest COVID-19 pandemic, each of which has had dramatic consequences on its economy and society.
The Sierra Leonean government has been making efforts to reduce poverty and increase employment. However, these attempts are hindered by challenges that have stemmed from the civil war, including high youth unemployment, corruption and weak governance.
Corruption is widespread in Sierra Leone and it is the most lucrative illegal activities in the country, alongside drug trafficking, smuggling, fraud, counterfeiting of products and intellectual property offences.
This report looks at Sierra Leone’s legal and regulatory approach to financial crime and the nature of financial crime risks that arise from the country’s political and economic landscape.