The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) have taken the campaign against money laundering and terrorism financing to Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MM2), Lagos.
Speaking during the sensitisation programme, EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, called for continuous sensitisation on issues around Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) reporting to improve transparency in BDCs operations. He said the EFCC will continue to campaign for financial integrity and transparency in BDCs’ operations.
According to a statement, other stakeholders at the event also warned against the use of BDCs for illicit political transactions, illegal border cash evacuation, reporting of suspicious transactions, fraud accounts transactions and cash dollar deposits on domiciliary accounts.
Speaking at the event, ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe, said the BDC sector is part of the financial system and was seen as the weakest in the industry.
He appealed to the regulators to approve the group’s request for the establishment of the institute’s Training Centre and building capacity of over 4,500 BDC operators for better understanding of the menace of money laundering and terrorism financing.
Gwadabe, said the anti-money laundering sensitisation programme was to familiarise 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.
Gwadabe, said the programme was also meant to help BDCs maintain minimum standard of record keeping and increasing level of investors’ confidence for the economy.
He said the group would continue to pursue Nigeria’s admission into the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) due this year.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions.
The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body,” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
Gwadabe, said the sensitisation of BDCs and other capacity building for BDCs will create awareness on the need to check money laundering and terrorist financing in this 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.