NGOs involved in money laundering, EFCC says

Angela Nworgu

Money launderers partner with NGOS to steal

Money launderers partner with NGOS to steal Non Governmental Organisations now serve as conduits through which corrupt individuals launder money, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said.

The head of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, (SCUML) at the EFCC, Angela Nworgu, said that the organisations also serve as sponsors of criminal activities.

Ms. Nworgu made the disclosure Tuesday at the annual seminar for Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs) organised by the commission at its academy in Karu, Abuja.

At the seminar themed “Strategic partnership Amongst DNFIs for Effective Implementation of AML/CFT Regime in Nigeria,” Ms. Nworgu disclosed that research by the SCUML indicates that money launderers partner with NGOs to launder money.

She said fraudsters, “who use NGOs to carry out layering of stolen wealth through several countries…to disguise the actual origin of the money do not mind loosing 40% of the total amount in the process, because it is money gotten from illegitimate means.”

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

The participants, drawn from various DNFIs such as Bureau De Change, Hotels, Law firms, Jewellers, 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.

One of the resource persons, 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,” Mr. Igbodekwe stated.

Another resource person, Mathew Enu, stated that the objective of the CTRs/STRs regime was 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. This includes reporting, record keeping, client identification and compliance regime requirements for individuals and entities.” he said.

The participants were later awarded certificates.

A lot of them expressed gratitude for the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the provisions of the money laundering prohibition law and its implementation.