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NGOs: Vehicle for Money Laundering – SCUML Boss

September 5, 2012

Angela Nworgu, Head of the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has revealed that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) now serve as a conduit for money laundering and sponsorship of criminal activities.

Angela Nworgu, Head of the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has revealed that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) now serve as a conduit for money laundering and sponsorship of criminal activities.

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Ms. Nworgu was speaking yesterday at the annual seminar for Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs) with the theme “Strategic partnership Amongst DNFIs for Effective Implementation of AML/CFT Regime in Nigeria” at the EFCC Academy in Karu, Abuja.

Drawing on research by the Financial Action Task Force, she warned that that money launderers “who use NGOs to carry out layering of stolen wealth through several countries…to disguise the actual origin of the money do not mind losing 40% of the total amount in the process, because it is money gotten from illegitimate means”.

Ms. Nworgu further stated that the essence of the seminar was to expose compliance officers to their obligations and responsibilities in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

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The participants, drawn from various DNFIs such as Bureau De Change, Hotels, Law firms, Jewelers, etc. were taken through the provisions of the Money Laundering Act 2011, KYC (know your customer) principles, Anatomy of CTRs/STRs, implication of the CBN circular on AML/CFT compliance, among others.

A resource person, Emma Igbodekwe, told the participants that the newly amended money laundering prohibition Act, 2011 is more robust, with strict punishment for its violation.  “That does not invalidate its application on culprits who might have committed the offence long before it was passed into Law, because it’s provisions also encompasses all the provisions in the Money Laundering prohibition Act, 2004”, he stated.        

On his part, Mr. Mathew Enu stated that the objective of the CTRs/STRs regime is to help detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.

“It is also to facilitate investigation and prosecution of money laundering and terrorist activity financing offences,” he said.  “This includes reporting, record keeping, client identification and compliance regime requirements for individuals and entities.”

Certificates were awarded to participants, who were drawn from DNFIs across the country.
Most of them expressed gratitude for the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the provisions of the money laundering prohibition law and its implementation.