29 October 2012

Nigeria: EFCC Moves to Combat Money Laundering, Terrorism

Photo: Vanguard
Cartoonist depicts corruption in Nigeria

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has renewed its commitment towards combating money laundering and terrorism financing as it affects the nation.

The assertion was made in Lagos by the EFCC Executive Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, during an inaugural lecture of a two-day Anti Money Laundering/ Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AMT/CFT) Compliance Training Programme organised by DataPro.

Lamorde, who was represented by the Head of Compliance and Enforcement Unit, Mr. Hanafi Baba-Ahmed, said the effort would advance the cause of AMT/CFT regime in the country/

Speaking on a topic; 'Fighting Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in Nigeria: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' he made reference to 1995 when Decree No. 3 was adopted, which criminalised money laundering, drugs offences and related crimes in trafficking, possession, and distribution.

"However, it was soon realised that the Decree had a number of loopholes and inadequacies which militated against its effectiveness, and the country enacted a new Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (MLPA) 2002, which extended the scope of offences, extended AML obligations to non-bank financial institutions, and enhanced customer due diligence requirements," he said.

The EFCC chief executive noted that as a result of this, the country had to enact another new MLPA, which repealed the Money Laundering Act 2002.

This Act provided a broader interpretation of financial institutions, expanded the scope of supervision of regulatory authorities, enhanced customer identification procedures and removed the threshold requirement on STR.

He further pointed out that the agency had to set up Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), which draws power from the MLPA of 2004 and that of EFCC Act of 2004, which helps in the collection of analysis and dissemination of information on money laundering and terrorism financing.

"All financial institutions and designated non-financial institutions are required by law to furnish the NFIU with details of their financial transactions," he said.

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