The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) thursday concluded a three-day joint training/sensitisation programme on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.
According to a statement, the programme, attended by head offices/zonal secretariats staff of ABCON and key personalities from the NFIU was held in Lagos.
Speaking at the end of the training, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the anti-money laundering training was intended to familiarise Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators with the process of money laundering — the criminal business used to disguise the true origin and ownership of illegal cash — and the laws that make it a crime.
The training, he said, was to create awareness on the need to check money laundering and terrorist financing in a period of electioneering; ensure that BDCs are not used to launder funds by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). It will also upscale BDCs’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria Regulations, 2013.
Gwadabe explained that the NFIU is the arm of the global financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and that the joint training was part of the efforts of the federal government in combating money laundering, and financing of terrorist activities within the country.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the training was in line with BDCs commitment to meeting their obligations towards the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.
He said the core role of the FIU was that it serves as the country’s central agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information regarding money laundering and the financing of terrorism and the training was an opportunity to get more acquainted with the role of NFIU and have a better understanding on how to file their transaction reports to regulatory agencies.
He said the training would enable BDCs to understand how to raise the Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) to know when to submit such reports.
According to him, both the NFIU and BDCs used the training opportunity to discuss Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) penalties on money laundering and terrorist financing adding that an updated code of conducts for BDCs operators in Nigeria will be unveiled later.
Gwadabe said that money laundering and terrorist financing pose not only a threat, but are enormous threats, enormous challenges to the economy, security, and social life in Nigeria, the region and globally.