- NFIU, CBN Others Move Against Illicit Financial Flow
Regulatory agencies in Nigeria’s financial sector have expressed their plans to curtail illicit financial flow during the election period.
Representatives of some of the agencies spoke during a two-day sensitisation forum for Bureau De Change operators, which was organised by Travelex Nigeria Limited in Lagos on Thursday.
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, in a presentation on ‘Detection and prevention of illicit financial flows in an election year’ also said that it had put in place some measures aimed at preventing illicit financial flows in line with the guidelines published by the CBN for the BDC operations.
It added that it would be monitoring the accounts of the MDAs by ACAs to ensure that public funds were not diverted to fund political activities.
The General Manager, Travelex, Mr Anthony Enwereji, said, “We are at the threshold of critical general elections. We are aware that the Nigerian government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is concerned about elections-related financial flows.
“In this regard, the BDCs are critical agents in assisting government in enhancing compliance in all foreign exchange related transactions. It is one of the challenges facing the BDCs all over the world to help in curbing illicit financial flows.”
He said that Travelex considered the BDC subsector critical to the health and smooth running of any financial system, a reason why its bureaux were located at most entry points and shopping malls all over the world.
“It is this retail and end user level that foreign exchange transactions make sense to ordinary people, namely: tourists, business travellers and numerous others. It is therefore important that we partner critical authorities, proprietors and operatives to raise the standard of practice in the Nigerian BDC sector to global standards.”
According to a presentation by the EFCC, it said it had put in place efforts in investigating and prosecuting the BDC operators in their involvement with high placed Nigerians using them to launder money across and outside the country over the years.
“The EFCC and the NFIU have identified common patterns form the reports submitted by the BDC sector as a result of non-compliance with the relevant AML laws and measures in place to prosecute defaulters,” it stated.