NFIU Par­leys ABCON against Anti-money Laun­der­ing, Ter­ror­ist Fi­nanc­ing


The As­so­ci­a­tion of Bureaux De Change Op­er­a­tors of Nige­ria (ABCON) and Nige­ria Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Unit (NFIU) yes­ter­day 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.

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