Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has lamented the non-compliance with regulations on money laundering and other related offences by some banks and financial institutions.
In a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman, on Tuesday, Magu, who described money laundering as a threat to developing and developed countries, expressed regret “that some banks had not been reporting suspicious transactions in line with statutory regulations”.
According to the statement, Magu spoke at a workshop on “money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism” organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIB) in Lagos, where he was represented by Garba Dugum, head of operations of the zonal office.
He condemned the activities of some bureau de change operators, saying that “most of them are not licenced and usually do not keep records. You can imagine when $2million was carried cash and given to an unregistered BDC man on the street”.
The EFCC chief also said some bank officials were in the habit of opening accounts for government officials even after the introduction of the treasury single account (TSA), thereby allowing government funds to be diverted.
“There are several bank accounts that are not linked to BVN and are still active,” he added.
“Some micro-finance banks indulge in collecting huge sums of cash for a short fixed term deposit with attractive high interests.
“Application of penalties ranging from fine to revocation of licence by regulators shall send a strong signal to erring banks and other reporting organisations
“Regular review of the legal framework to move with time and accommodate new emerging trends of money laundering is key.”