The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, has urged bankers and major players in Nigeria’s financial sector to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in combating money laundering.
He gave the charge at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN’s Anti-Money Laundering workshop, which held at the Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja.
Lamorde, who was represented by the Commission’s Director, Finance and Accounts, Bukar Abba, described money laundering as an evil that requires collective and concerted efforts to tame.
“Money laundering is a cross-jurisdictional crime that, while obviating natural and artificial national boundaries, actually serves to bring nations together in one global crime-fighting network,” he said.
While lamenting the impact of illicit financial flows from Africa, he noted that an estimated $50 billion is lost by the continent in illicit financial flows, thus necessitating the important roles of players in the financial sector, in combating money laundering.
“These flows relate principally to commercial transactions, tax evasion, criminal activities including money laundering; drugs, arms and human trafficking; bribery, corruption and abuse of office,” Lamorde further stated.
Quoting from the December 2014 report of the Global Financial Integrity, titled Illicit Financial Flows From The Developing World: 2003 to 2013, the EFCC boss noted that the statistics are enough cause for worry.
“I believe that more than ever before, there is the need for a concerted push to deal a telling blow to the criminals in our midst, and we must come to the realization that money launderers never stop re-inventing themselves,” he said.
In his paper, Anti-Money Laundering Legislation in Nigeria, New Regulations and Guidance Notes, Bala Sanga, the project coordinator (Anti-corruption) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, noted that many players in the financial sector, have provided a platform for politicians to be corrupt.
“There’s the need for financial institutions to strengthen and enhance proper collation of customers’ data, and to ensure proper diligence on customers,” Sanga said.